Freshmen Lizzie Smith and Ella Davis are two players that have also caught Dowhen’s eye.
“They show a strong understanding of the game and have worked each session to be at the top of the roster,” he said.
Along with assistant coach Jordyn Shaffer and returning coach Mike Burdsall, Dowhen has implemented a new conditioning format that he hopes will pay dividends this season.
“My staff and I brought a different approach to conditioning, preparation and game ideals to Danville this year,” he said. “We hope to see a large payoff for all of the hard work that each young lady contributed. We are proud that much of the summer was spent tackling a heightened level of conditioning.”
After advancing to the sectional final against Brownsburg last season, the Avon Orioles lost a heartbreaker to the Bulldogs in overtime, 1-0. Avon has been stacked with talent in recent seasons, but that has not translated into major postseason success, leaving a bitter taste in the Orioles’ mouths.
It’s safe to say, Avon is out to change that this season.
“State tournament is always difficult to advance in,” Avon coach Eric Nance said. “Central Indiana has the best talent in the state and the majority of the teams in the top 20 rankings are from our area. The teams that play the best soccer and have a little luck along the way are the ones that have success in the postseason. We would love to be one of those teams this season.”
Aiding the Orioles to their goals this year is the return of 14 of 19 of their varsity players from last season’s squad that finished 13-4-2. Avon also brings up some talent from the junior varsity squad as well as two talented freshmen.
“The girls are very determined to have a strong season,” Nance said. “The senior class has had a very successful career at Avon and want to make sure senior year is the best. The entire group has been putting in good work this offseason and the mentality is exactly what we want heading into the season.”