From the moment Virginia Intermont forward striker Jose Rubio’s shot struck the back of the net in overtime to abruptly end the Milligan Buffaloes soccer season in the Appalachian Athletic Conference championship, head coach Adam Laney knew next season would be challenging.
Next year is now here, and the challenge for Laney is in finding a way to replace 32 goals scored by his seniors and continue to compete in the rugged AAC.
“We will be very different and don’t really know yet what that will be,” Laney said. “We are still trying to define ourselves and find out who we are right now. We are really pressed in this preseason and are doing a lot on the field to solve those problems as quickly as we can.”
The Lady Buffs (10-7-1, 6-2-1 AAC) also fell one game shy of the national tourney in 2012, but head coach Lisa Buckley does not see this as a rebuilding season.
“I feel that, if anything we may have more offensive firepower that last year,” said Lady Buffs head coach Lisa Buckley. “I think Teagan Wood is coming on. She is bigger and more powerful than last year and she was a force to be reckoned with then, so I think she will be even more so this year.
“I expect good things from freshmen Christine Hardin and Keri Harrison, both natural goal scorers.”