• Burleson sophomore forward Maycie Massingill could have a big season for the Lady Elks. BURLESON STAR/SHAW STUDIO

Poyner has Lady Elks poised for big season

Following a season-ending 2-1 loss to Mansfield Lake Ridge in a bi-district playoff game, Burleson girls soccer coach Erin Poyner told her players to remember the way they had played because that was the effort she would expect from them in the next season.

The Lady Elks took Poyner’s words to heart and worked hard in the summer and off-season.

Now they are looking for that effort to payoff.

“They are just hard-working kids,” Poyner said. “Which makes it a lot easier. The biggest thing was for them to buy into the way I want things to run. They have to want to be successful and learn and adapt and that’s what they have done. The seniors have been wonderful leaders. We are in pretty good shape.”

Burleson should be solid offensively with first-team all-district player Gracie Spradley returning. Last season, Spradley scored 10 goals and notched 10 assists while floating between forward and midfield.

“Gracie is a big impact player for us,” Poyner said. “She’s just phenomenal.”

Jordan Walker, another first-team player, gives the Lady Elks additonal scoring punch. Burleson can also count on a pair of second-team players in sophomore forward Maycie Massingill and senior midfielder Adriana Zaragoza. Jordan Walker, a sophomore midfielder/forward, could help Burleson’s offense. Jordan is converted defender.

Freshman Alyssa Villavicencio will also see playing time in the midfield this season.

The strength for the Lady Elks should be their defense which is led by seniors Kirsten Ruby, Kyra Smith, Kenady Moore and Taylor Winn. Junior Emilee Marks and sophomores Shea Moore and Olivia Nivens will aslo see playing time on defense.

“I think we will be fine defensively,” Poyner said.

Poynter said she will be throwing freshman keeper Faith Gilstrap to the wolves this season.

“I think she will be alright,” Poyner said. “She shouldn’t be seeeing that many shots because our defense is going to be so strong.”

The Lady Elks started their season over the weekend by winning the Lady Elk Tournament with a 4-0 record.

Burleson defeated Bridgeport (1-0), Fort Worth South Hills (3-0), Denton (2-1) and Dallas Molina (1-0).

Tuesday night, the Lady Elks defeated China Spring, 2-0.

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