If that’s the case, then the Lady Warriors made quick work of the repairs.
“I think the new players that we have added have had a huge impact from the beginning,” said Culver, who said she is blending new talent with veteran experience. “That has definitely been the key for us this season.
“We have started off a lot better than I expected this year, and I hope that we can build on that.”
Two weeks into the season, Cherokee is 5-0 as it opens Region 5AAAAAA competition.
The Lady Warriors have defeated South Cobb, Campbell, Marietta, Sequoyah and River Ridge by a combined scored of 23-4. They have allowed no more than one goal in a single game.
Driving the offense is freshman Sam Thornton, who had recorded 10 goals through four games. Center midfielder Victoria Cassidy has been solid, as has Kelsey Bradford and center midfielder Lauren Moss, who had six assists on the season.
On defense, Cherokee returned three of its four starters from the 2012 season. Sophomore Emaleigh Adcox anchors the unit.
Many of the Lady Warriors have played together for several seasons, albeit at lower levels. The sophomore class — which includes Moss, Adcox, Meredith Thacker, Brittany Rogers, Victoria Reyna, Cirstyn Michel and Hali Mantooth — started off playing at a young age.
“They already had sort of a chemistry together when they came in,” Culver said. “I think that the two center-midfielders, Victoria Cassidy and Lauren Moss, have been a great combination and work really well. Of course, Sam Thornton is a natural goal-scorer for us.”
Culver said this team works the ball around the field better than any other team she has coached in her seven years at Cherokee.
Cherokee was scheduled to play its region opener Tuesday against Roswell, but the game was rescheduled because of the weather. Now the Lady Warriors will get their first region test this Tuesday against Lassiter.
Culver believes Region 5AAAAAA is one of the toughest in the state, especially since Milton — last year’s Class AAAAA champion — and Roswell joined this year.
“One of our goals is always to get one of the top four spots in the region and go to the state playoffs,” Culver said. “It’s extremely challenging adding Milton and Roswell into our region. There are always the big teams, like Walton, Lassiter and Etowah, to make it challenging.”
There are just two seniors on the team, Hannah Smith and Briana Quibano, which gives Culver reason to believe that Cherokee will have a solid team for years to come.
“We are still relatively young,” she said. “We start a lot of sophomores and juniors. I think each year, especially after this year, we will continue to build. We have a pretty good base moving forward.”