For one thing, they’re thinking this could be their best season yet. Burgin was 5-4 last season for the best record of its two full varsity seasons.
“Every year our record just gets better and better, and the scoring gets more and more. Every year it just gets better,” Alford said.
Coach Theresa Brooks said she’s happy with what she has seen from the team in the first two weeks of the season.
“We’re really putting out a lot of effort, a lot of heart. Everyone’s giving their best,” coach Theresa Brooks said.
Brooks said there has also been an improvement in skills, thanks in part to a preseason camp with the coach and players from St. Catharine College.
“We’ve really worked on all our skills: ground skills, passing, footwork,” she said.
Burgin (3-1) put three goals on the board in the first half Thursday to take control against KSD (0-4), and juniors Caleb Goodpaster and Travis McEachern figured in three of the Bulldogs’ four scores.
Goodpaster had one goal and two assists, and McEachern had one goal and one assist.
“The chemistry’s really good, so we talk really well on the field. Our passing’s really good,” Alford said.
Goodpaster scored in the 16th minute on a rebound of a miss by McEachern from long range that caromed off the crossbar, and he passed to McEachern for a 20-yard shot about 13 minutes later that glanced off the fingertips of KSD goalkeeper Michael Miller and into the net.
Cody Ward scored on a penalty kick in the 34th minute, and Mollica Crawford capped the Bulldogs’ scoring with a chip shot from 10 yards one minute into the second half.
Burgin is a co-ed team, and Crawford and the three other girls on the 13-person roster all play prominent roles on the field.
“Our girls are really good, they’re all really tough. We’ve got a lot of just all-around good players, and we’re all really close where we’re such a small team,” Alford said.
Alford admitted that he’d like to get in on the offensive act more often this season — he has one goal in four games — but he is pleased with his improvement as well.
“I started off playing midfield, then I moved back to defense, and now I’m at forward. I’ve pretty much played every position you can play — except for goalie,” he said. “My foot’s gotten a lot stronger my passing has improved so much.”
Jacob Meece scored both of KSD’s goals, which came about 10 minutes apart after Burgin had taken a 4-0 lead.
He fired a direct kick from about 20 yards out that grazed a Burgin defender and went into the net in the 61st minute, and he scored again on a 15-yard shot in the 71st minute.
The Colonels graduated some key players from last year’s team and have been together for less than three weeks, but coach Neil Carrington said he is starting to see progress.
“They get along better than some of my previous teams. We’ve got good captain leadership (from) Jacob Meece and Aaron Smith, and that helps me tremendously,” he said.
“We’ve got some ninth-graders who are surprising me. We’re always behind the eight-ball because we don’t have middle school soccer, but we’re getting some good work out of them and making do with what we’ve got.”
KSD went 1-2 against Burgin last season, and the teams will meet twice more this season.
“We’re glad to have close neighbors like Burgin. That’s a fairly even match every year, and we enjoy playing them,” Carrington said.