Last season, Lakeside won a playoff game for the first time in school history and now the senior-laden Dragons hope to accomplish even more.
Lakeside finished the 2020 season with an 11-5-2 record overall and a 3-2-1 mark in Chagrin Valley Conference play.
With eight returning starters, second-year head coach Angelo Velotta is optimistic about entering the 2021 season.
“I believe this team has a lot of potential to have both a successful and fun season,” Velotta said. “We graduated three seniors, all who were valuable to our team. We have a large senior class now and a strong group of underclassmen.”
Leading the way for the Dragons in 2021 are seniors Sadee Hamilton and Jeanelle Bryan, the reigning Co-MVPs of the CVC Valley Division
Hamilton, a forward, scored 23 goals with seven assists. Bryan, a goalkeeper, recorded 10 shutouts as a junior.
“Sadee is someone we look to, to provide offense, communication, and leadership consistently,” Velotta said. “Jeanelle has developed into a strong goalkeeper, working hard on her skills, while also becoming a leader on the team.”
Junior midfielder Grace Stein and senior defender Emily Richards also will play key roles this season.
Stein, a first-team All-CVC performer, finished the 2020 season with seven goals and eight assists while Richards earned second-team all-conference honors.
“Grace sees the field so well, and provides inspiration to everyone,” Velotta said. “Emily brings positive energy daily to practice and games, is extremely coachable, and an intense defender.”
The Dragons will need each and every player to rise up to the challenge this season.
To build off of their success from last season, Velotta and the Dragons know it will take hard work, consistent play, and the right mindset to compete against a challenging schedule.
“We have to continue to work hard day in and day out and believe the whole way,” Velotta said. “We have to try to always bring the most effort to the game as possible and learn from our mistakes both in-game and in between games. This is an enjoyable group of student-athletes to coach and I really am looking forward to seeing each of them grow, not only as players on the field, but also as individuals.”