ALMA - After a series of tryouts with over 30 players taking the field, the NRHS Lady Nighthawks have selected their roster and are ready to begin the 2013 campaign.
The team boasts eight returning players and features leadership from five seniors. The 18-player roster also has a total of eight Grade 11 juniors, two Grade 10 sophomores and three Grade 9 rookie players.
The team will be led by captains Lauren Hale at sweeper and Season Brennan in the midfield.
Savannah Lees and Hannah Mertin will be taking care of the goalkeeping while the defence has been rebuilt with Julianna Ali, Shelby MacLennan, Megan Constable, Sam Rankin and Jenna Johnson along with Hale will be on the fullback line.
In the midfield wing role, Brennan, Jessica Deagle and Isabelle Bennett join central midfielders T-Anna Fraser, Jennifer Cooke and Olivia MacDonald.
Up front the Lady Nighthawks are counting on Cara MacIvor, Alex Kampa-Plouffe along with first year strikers Emily Mertin and Haley Smith.
Last weekend they were in action for a number of friendlies, playing the Dr. JH Gillis Royals the NNEC friendly tournament.
The team was anxious to play opposition other than themselves and so they set the bar high and were able to compete for 70 minutes with Division 1 JH Gillis being down only one goal. Eventually fatigue set in and the team lost 5-1.
Coach Bob Boardway said there were a number of bright spots, including the goaltending of Lees and Hannah Mertin who were kept busy, but each made several point-blank saves.
Brennan and Fraser combined for some nice possession and eventually it paid off as NRHS were awarded a penalty kick. Fraser buried the shot in the bottom-left corner.
Following their loss against JH Gillis the Lady Nighthawks went undefeated at the NNEC tournament for the second season in a row.
NRHS opened with a 1-0 victory over the Pictou Academy Pitbulls. Hannah Mertin and Lees recorded the shutout in the Nighthawks goal, while former SAERC midfielder Alex Kampa-Plouffe scored the game-winning goal for the Nighthawks.
In the second match on Saturday afternoon the Lady Nighthawks fell behind after eight minutes to the Gryphons, but replied with a goal of their own just five minutes later. The game ended in the 1-1 tie, but featured numerous other scoring chances for each team. Lees and Hannah Mertin again shared the goaltending with Lees stopping a Gryphon breakaway to keep the score 1-1.
Brennan scored the lone Nighthawk goal off a 35-yard shot to the top corner from her left-midfield position. Fraser, and Emily Mertin picked up assists on the play.
Boardway said the hope is that the NRHS team will full and healthy roster for next weekend’s 3-D Auto Parts tournament as MacDonald and Smith may be ready to return to action.
The Nighthawks host the tournament annually at the Rotary and NRHS fields. Action opens at noon on Friday, with the tournament wrapping up on Saturday.