Written by Michael Mates
CCC Student SID - Bishop Chatard
As the sun begins to set over the Bishop Chatard athletic complex, the Lady Trojan soccer team is tirelessly training with a new coach at the helm. Head Coach Ashton Balch is looking forward to building upon the recent success of the BCHS soccer program.
Coach Balch played soccer during her freshman year while attending the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. She then transferred to IUPUI to finish out her playing career. She has also coached club soccer for five years with the Dynamo FC and Indiana Fire Juniors.
Last year, the Lady Trojans made their way to semi-state before falling to the eventual state champions, Evansville Memorial. This year’s team is looking to building on last season’s 17-5 record.
Indiana University-recruit Elizabeth Jacobson is determined to finish her senior season with a bang. She said, “With a great new coach and a strong incoming freshmen class, I’m looking forward to adding onto our success from last season and hoping to win a state title this season.”
Jacobson continued to comment on Coach Balch saying, “She calls it how it is and tells us what we need to work on. Being a top college soccer player herself, she sees the field really well and knows the exact drills that will make us better.”
Although the program had success last year, Coach Balch and her players understand that they want to be a part of a new team that still makes a deep run in the tournament. Coach Balch said, “We talked about having a clean slate.”
Sophomore Avery Kaminski is looking to have a huge season after being sidelined last year with a knee injury. She said, “It was very long and hard the first few months of recovery, but I got better every month. It’s very good to be back.”
Coach Balach said, “She is coming back completely fearless and has no hesitation in her knees. I think having her in the mix at forward with Rebekkaha Guess will allow them to play off each other and allow Avery to come back a lot smoother.”
Guess said, “The trick is to feed off of each other’s energy and hopefully sneak some through balls behind the opposing team’s defenders.”
Guess, a senior, is eager to sustain the success she helped foster last year. She said, “I am looking to make this season count.”
Coach Balch said, “Our overall team goal is to come together as one entire unit and work toward a state championship. I also want the girls to work hard and be involved in the community as much as possible.”
The team opens up the season with a scrimmage at home against Pendleton Heights on Thursday, followed by their first regular season game at Mt Vernon on August 13th. The Trojans do not open up Circle City Conference play until August 18th, when they face Heritage Christian at home. Coach Balch elaborated on the Heritage Christian game.
“It will be one of the first big games we have. It will help us know where we really stand in the conference.”