New Mehlville girls' soccer coach looks to end 13-game losing streak
As odd as it may sound, the Mehlville Panthers need an attitude check.
Such a statement may sound harsh to some, but for Scott Jackson, the school's new head coach for the girls' soccer team, it's about as close to being perfect as you can get.
Jackson took over the reins of the program after former head coach Chris Werstein announced his retirement from coaching in January.
The new head coach is looking for the Panthers to break out of a 13-game losing streak. They have failed to win a game since a 3-0 win over Webster Groves on May 13, 2002.
"I wasn't anticipating Chris stepping down this year," Jackson told the Call. "The biggest change overall in the program is going to be in terms of attitude."
The Panthers' new head coach is quite familiar with the Mehlville soccer program after serving as the boys' varsity team head coach for the past four years.
"We're going to implement a system that's similar to the boys," Jackson said. "The future is bright and I think that we can win a few games this year."
One of the key components to the Panthers' success this year will be the play of junior midfielder Allison Schaughnessey. Last season Schaughnessey led Mehlville with three goals scored and four assists.
"Allison is a very skilled player and we're looking for her to be a leader on and off the field," Jackson said. "She's a top-notch player."
Another junior who should make a solid impact on this year's team is defender Lisa Krost, who scored two goals last season as a forward.
Her head coach believes that as a marking back, Krost will provide an even bigger impact to this year's team.
"We're possibly looking at her playing at the marking back position because we've been leaning towards her being on defense right now," Jackson explained. "She brings a tremendous work ethic into practice every day."
Seniors Kaitlyn Deutsch and Karen Hines are two players whom Jackson is looking to for not only some senior leadership, but also some offensive firepower this season.
Last year at the midfielder position, Deutsch recorded two goals for the Panthers, while Hines notched one assist as a forward.
"They (Deutsch and Hines) are going to be expected to carry a lot of minutes this season," Jackson said. "Karen can play as a striker for us because she's got a lot of energy."
Sophomore goalkeeper Melissa Giorgi returns this season and looks to improve on her 0-12 record overall with a 3.3 goals-against average.
"She's improved over the last year," Jackson said. "She has a year of experience under her belt and plays the game with a lot of energy."
The Panthers open the season Monday, March 22, as they take on McCluer North in the Hazelwood Central Shootout, which is being played at SportPort. The Panthers' season opener against the Stars is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.