By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY -- Sherando's girls soccer team is completely different from the one that started the season.
Sherando coach Rob Kilmer has made many changes, which he believes has helped the squad as the season has went on.
"We've completely transformed from where we started," Kilmer said on Tuesday afternoon.
Kilmer said that he is now using two goalies in junior Akira Irving and freshman Amanda Hott. He now has three different starters on defense. Erin Magalis started out as a defender and is now a forward. Kelsey Singhas has moved from defender to midfielder, while Mandy Fogerty has went from striker to midfielder.
The changes have worked. Magalis leads the team with five goals. After losing 2-0 to James Wood in the second game of the season, the Warriors beat the Colonels 1-0 last week. They are the only team to shut out James Wood this season.
Kilmer said he thinks his team has adjusted to all the moves very well.
Last week, the Warriors (4-3-1) fell to Frederick County rival Millbrook, 2-1. Sherando had a 1-0 lead, but the Pioneers scored twice in the last 12 minutes to pull out the win.
Kilmer said it was one of the few times they had held a lead on Milbrook in the last few years.
"We just have to use it as a learning experience," Kilmer said. "We have to learn how to finish those games off."
GENERAL CONNECTION: Stonewall Jackson's Emily Jordan and Brittany Singleton have provided the Generals with a strong 1-2 combo this season.
Jordan leads the team with nine goals, and five of them have come off assists from Singleton, who has eight assists overall.
"It's usually weird to have two forwards have such a good connection, because usually it's a midfielder and a forward," Stonewall Jackson coach Derek Hartwig said. "The way I have them playing, one of them is kind of pushing up and one of them is kind of dropping back to be that little middle ground. Usually it's Brittany that's dropping back and Emily that's going forward. ... I think if the roles were reversed, I think we would see the exact same thing. I think if Emily took on more of the passing role, then you'd see Brittany score the goals as well.
"Brittany has an eye for the game and she puts the ball where it needs to be, which Emily is always there and benefits from it. It's fun to watch."
The Generals (3-6) have a very young squad, and started the season off slowly because of it.
Hartwig said the Generals lost the most on defense, but led by Carlie Livesay they are improving game by game.
Stonewall Jackson lost its first four games, but have now won three of its last five.
Hartwig said the team is finding its way.
"It's starting to click for them," Hartwig said. "I think they're finally starting to play together. They're realizing that they can trust one another.
"It's definitely a growing season for us, but I really feel for the next year, the next couple years this program is going to be top notch. And I think we're going to be the ones that people are going to be talking about."
COMING TOGETHER: Warren County's girls soccer team has come together about as well as coach Mike Carpenter could have hoped for.
The Wildcats are 6-2 on the season, and Carpenter said unity has been a big key to their success.
"The team is getting along well and we're jelling," Carpenter said. "It shows on the field."
One thing Carpenter has really liked from his squad is how well they've handled adversity.
Several times this year they've trailed and then rallied to get the victory.
"It seems like if we give up an early goal or something, a lot of times, that's the spark they need to kind of flip the switch and kind of put it together," Carpenter said.
The Wildcats have been led by Kelsea Potts, who has 19 goals, and by Courtney L'Amoreaux, who has nine assists. Carpenter said the Wildcats have played together as a team and that's important for their success.
Warren County has seven games over the next two weeks. Even though they have started out strong, Carpenter said his team needs to stay focused over the next couple weeks.
"It's a pretty good start," Carpenter said. "As I always tell the team, it's how you finish the season that matters."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd