The Laurel soccer team didn't quite reach as far as the record setting Gators of last season, but coach Tibi Regele knows the team will be a handful next season.
Laurel started eight freshmen and sophomores this season one year after reaching the state title game in Division III for the first time. The Gators lost, 1-0, to rival Gilmour Academy in a district semifinal. They finished at 10-4-3.
"What can I say?" Regele asked. "When you exit earlier than last year, it's a disappointment. Even a regional final would be a disappointment.
"Gilmour put a good team together. They have a lot of good seniors and juniors on the team. They deserved to win and move on."
The Lancers followed that up with a 3-1 loss to rival Hawken School in the district final.
"I'm still very happy," Regele said. "We started nothing but sophomores and freshmen all year long. It's very positive for the future.
"Every season, every coach, when you lose a game, you see disappointment. Basically I threw them into deep water. They did extremely well."
Natalie Kosir led Laurel in goals with 12 as a freshman while fellow freshman Veronica Jones was tops in assists with seven. Freshman Emma Landskroner was key on defense. Juniors Mia Mastroianni and Sydney Riddle provided production and leadership for Laurel while the lone senior starter, Rachel Piccus, was the goalie.
Regele said the returning players can learn a lot from this season.
"You need to lose a game sometimes to be a winner," Regele said. "We'll regroup and move forward. The future is bright."
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