Bastrop Lady Rams Soccer Preview

Bastrop is far from becoming a soccer powerhouse, but it would be safe to say that the Lady Rams exceeded expectations in their first official varsity season.

After competing as a junior varsity team in 2011-12 as per Louisiana High School Athletic Association rules for an upstart program, the Lady Rams notched the first soccer victory in school history last season. In what coach Jessica Pylant termed “a season of firsts,” the Lady Rams also played their first home game and scored multiple goals in a game for the first time.

Bastrop found the back of the net eight times last season, marking a six-goal improvement over its inaugural season.

Individually, the Lady Rams placed four players on the All-District team and were represented on the Academic All-State team.

Pylant is counting on continued improvement this season.

“I see a lot more progress this year. Even the new ones are making progress by leaps and bounds,” Pylant said. “They seem to be picking up on everything a lot quicker this year. I have several who have really stepped up their game and are showing tremendous leadership.

Eight players return from last year, including first-team All-District goalkeeper Megan Crymes and second-team All-District center midfielder Zoey Behnke. Both are entering their junior season.

Also back are Caitlin Robinson, one of only two seniors on the roster; juniors Shila Morgan, Quan'Niecia Bradshaw, Katina Washington and Miranda Waters and sophomore Akira Winston.

Newcomers include senior Rashini Tappin, juniors Stataisjia Johnson and Ambrejhza Farrar, sophomores Za'Kyiah Holmes and Hannah Cherry and freshmen Shantavia Thaxton, Montana Leonard and Jayda Cottrell.

Graduating seniors from last year's squad side include first-team All-District sweeper MaKyla Crossley, second-team All-District fullback Aneatria Watson, Katy Smith and Diana Potter.

Though the losses were minimal numbers-wise, the defense was hit hard by graduation.

“All of the seniors we lost were on defense,” Pylant said. “We lost everybody except Megan and Zoey. I'm not sure on positions with everyone just yet because we are still trying to put our defense together.”

Bastrop will see its first action of the season next week with a junior varsity scrimmage at West Monroe on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and a varsity scrimmage at Ouachita Christian on Thursday at 5. The Lady Rams open the regular season on Thursday, Nov. 21 at Minden.