If you’re going to climb a mountain, you’re likely going to have to start somewhere near the bottom.
That’s where first-year London girls soccer coach Lindsay Williams finds herself as she begins to lead the Red Raiders program up a mountain of respectability.
Williams comes to London via the girls soccer powerhouse program of Beavercreek. The circumstances she walks into at London are far different than where she came from, but the coach is determined to build something at London that can last.
“I’m really excited about this group,” Williams said. “We have just a few upperclassmen and have a young team, but there’s talent here.
“Yes, the situation here is different than where I came from. But I don’t see why we can’t build something here. I definitely think we can build a competitive team here. It may take a year or two to get there but I think it can happen.”
The coach doesn’t have to look far to find top-notch programs to measure hers against. London again will compete in the Mid-State League Ohio Division which is one of the best girls soccer conferences in not only Central Ohio but across the state. With the likes of Bexley, Columbus Academy, Worthington Christian and Grandview, there are plenty of stellar programs with talented athletes on them.
“Bexley made the final four last year and Worthington Christian was No. 1 in the state last year,” Williams said. “So playing in this league will be a huge challenge. Those teams have whooped up on London in the past, we just don’t have the resources some of those teams have.
“We had 15 girls out and that’s our team, those school’s have a much bigger base to choose from. A lot of those kids play high-level travel soccer, we only have one of those. We have to go with what we have, but we’re going to work hard and work with who we have.”
Not having a large number of upperclassmen means the leadership duties will rest on the shoulders of a select few.
The team welcomes back junior standout Ally Kimbler, she’s the one player on the roster who has played high-level soccer and will be counted on to carry a heavy load this fall. She’s joined in the back by the only senior on the roster Gabby McCoy.
Juniors Taylor Clingerman and Kaity Uldricks, a pair of speedy midfielders are the other upperclassmen who will be looked upon to provide leadership on and off the field.
“We’re a really young team that has talent and we’re probably going to need a couple years to grow,” the coach said. “What we’re hoping for is that our juniors and senior can help bring these girls along and help us build up the program.”
London looked pretty good in the scrimmage portion of the preseason, winning all three of its games.
“Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come,” the coach said.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.