The New Canaan girls soccer team qualified for both the FCIAC and Class LL state playoffs last season, and it's certainly not in the Rams plans to miss out on either tournament this season.
"Everyone's working really hard, we have a lot of talent coming in and we have a lot of people who are stepping up to the plate," said Sam Ashley, a senior captain and outside midfielder. "We want to be a competitive team, and we want a good team chemistry on the field and off."
Despite their youth, Bamford believes the Rams have the talent necessary to make some noise in the FCIAC.
"These girls will continue to evolve and develop their distinct way and style and have their own dynamic and impact. As the players before them have done a good job, these girls will be looking to do the same in their style," Bamford said. "Generally, I've been very pleased with the majority of the girls with how they've come in. They've all come in strong, mentally ready and enthusiastic. At this stage, all the signs are there and it's all positive to me."
The Rams also played in their first scrimmage on Tuesday, a 3-1 victory over Shelton, and they hope that it is a sign of things to come. New Canaan seems to feel that the team's ability to notch three goals in its first taste of game action this season is also a major positive.
"The team is working really well together. We connect well, we pass well and there's very good chemistry," said Courtney Overacker, a junior captain and forward. "We find each other's feet well, and we're scoring so that's a good sign."
"The biggest thing I noticed was the ability to respond," said Burke, a center midfielder. "At first being a new team never playing together we weren't sure how it was going to go, but everyone worked really well and the communication was great, which is especially important with a new team. It was really exciting to see that everyone was able to work together and move together, and I think that's what got us those three goals."
Sophomore Katie Donovan will handle the majority of goalkeeping duties, and Bamford feels good about her abilities to keep his team in games.
"Katie is a good keeper with experience in terms of level of play. I'm hoping she'll continue to evolve into the keeper she can be, and she's been doing a good job so far," Bamford said. "A few changes (on defense) but we've got returning players in there as well, which is nice. Marina (Barccio) is the most experienced of the defenders coming back."
With no hesitation, all three senior captains were quick to identify the Sept. 30 clash with Darien as a matchup that they're especially looking forward to, and St. Joseph was a team also mentioned as a highlight, due to its 12-2-2 regular season record a season ago.
"We definitely lost a lot of talent last year and we miss the seniors, but they were great examples and they pushed us really hard in practice, so the girls who didn't get a chance to see the field last year still got great experience practicing and even getting out later in the games," Burke said.
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