The Bengals will feature three forwards and rely on three defenders and an active goal keeper in a 3-4-3 attacking formation in 2010. “With the type of personnel we have – we have a lot of offensive players,” Mountford said. “I wanted to put my best 11 players on the field. In that, we’ve got three really good forwards.”
Mountford said senior forward, Jessie Davis would lead the attack along with junior Sarah Yoder and sophomore Ellie Barnes up top.
Juniors, Bailey Woolf and Sylvia Cockerill along with sophomore, Brenna Coolbaugh will anchor the back line in front of goal keeper, Hannah Rembach – a sophomore. Mountford said, Rembach, who normally plays midfield is good at coming off her line and playing through balls and crosses aggressively. He’s counting on her to function almost like a fourth defender.
In another nod to the new attacking mindset, junior midfielder, Kiersten Koenig will be encouraged to go forward joining the attack when she sees openings.
“This year there might be some shootouts,” Mountford said. “We might give up three goals, but we might score four. It’s a challenge learning and playing this new style, but the girls are willing to learn and they’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”
Fuquay is already off to a good start with a 2-1 record in the first week of play last week. The Bengals shut out Cary on Monday in a 2-0 Tri-9 conference win to open the season. Davis scored both goals. On Wednesday, Fuquay dropped a 2-0 conference match at home to Panther Creek. The Bengals rebounded on Friday with a 3-2 non-conference win at West Johnston. Davis, Yoder and Barnes all scored in that match as Rembach, Koenig and Christa Jackson all notched assists.
In another first this spring, the Bengals opened the new season against conference opponents. This is thanks to the expansion of the old Tri-8 conference to nine teams this year with the addition of Holly Springs High. In order to schedule two additional conference games for each team, the Tri-9 slate begins early. “I really don’t like that, but it’s the same for all the teams in the conference,” Mountford said. “We’re used to having two weeks to smooth out the wrinkles against non-conference teams before the start of conference play.”
That means some of the season’s toughest tests come early this spring – as early as tonight when Fuquay travels to conference power, Apex High. Mountford said he expects the Cougars, along with Green Hope and Panther Creek to all be at the top of the Tri-9 in 2010. But he has confidence that his team will have a say in the conference race as well.
“We have a lot of talent,” Mountford said. “We’re young but we expect to be a playoff team. We think we have the talent and the work ethic to make that happen.”
Fuquay entered this week at 2-1, 1-1 in conference play. The Bengals finished 2009 with a 9-8-2 record and a trip to the second round of the 4A state playoffs.