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Improved depth, talent paying for Lady Warriors
by Greg Oshust
March 12, 2013 03:22 PM | 1491 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>North Atlanta teammates Claire Shea, left, and Whitney Carroll battle for control of the ball during practice.
Staff / Nathan Self
North Atlanta teammates Claire Shea, left, and Whitney Carroll battle for control of the ball during practice.
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After a disappointing season last year, the North Atlanta girls’ soccer team appears to be back on track.

With a 4-3 overall record and 3-0 mark in Region 7AAAAA (A) going into Tuesday’s game at Dunwoody, the Lady Warriors have already doubled their win total of a year ago, when they went 2-14.

“For the most part, we’ve looked pretty good,” first-year North Atlanta coach Rob Bramlett said. “We’ve got some club players at the school, and it’s kind of the first time in awhile that the school has had the pool of talent that we have now.”

“But, we haven’t actually reached the potential of the team yet, in part because some of them have been sort of in and out of the team — playing on these other teams. But, it’s also been an issue of everybody having to get to know each other.”

Bramlett, a 2005 graduate of North Atlanta who was the captain of the boys’ soccer team, is encouraged by the mix of veteran returners and promising newcomers on a deep Lady Warrior roster.

“Generally speaking, we have two really quality freshmen who play at the top club level, which is really outstanding to have,” Bramlett said. “But, we have a core of players who have played together for two or three years. … I don’t know if the school has had a team that is as good as it is now.

“The depth of the team is really a big factor. We have about 15 or 16 varsity players on the roster and I don’t know if the school has had that in a long time.”

The Lady Warriors are especially strong in the backfield and midfield, with senior defender Ali Palmer, junior midfielder Teresa Durham, freshman midfielder Claire Shea and junior midfielder/defender Emma Pettersen leading the way.

“Certainly, our midfield and our defense is really solid,” Bramlett said. “Especially in the first two games against the better teams, we played well in those areas. We’re still trying to get better in terms of our offensive consistency, but the defensive end is really solid.”

Bramlett said he believes the pieces are in place for his team to earn a state playoff spot in Class AAAAA.

“I’m very confident about going to state,” he said. “I think we have the potential to at least go to the quarterfinals, but it’s just a matter of how well this team develops some cohesion over the next month and a half. It’s really just a matter of focus. Four or five of our players play club [soccer] and there’s going to be times that a couple of them are going to be missing games, so it’s just a matter of having the whole squad [together] and playing our best at the right time.”
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