Change is in the winds as Kerri Ricker begins her tenure as Ridley head coach this year, but if she wants to turn the Green Raiders’ fortunes around, she’s going to have to rely on some familiar faces.
“We have seven returning starters,” said Ricker, a former Ridley player. “But I think we’re really going to rely on our defense. Brianne White, Jamie Hills, and Harlee Weible are our big three defensive players. It’s going to start with our defense. We’re expecting a lot out of them.”
Ridley’s going to need a strong defensive presence as it waits for first-year starter Lindsay Finnegan to get her feet wet at the varsity level. The senior bided her time on Ricker’s JV team before this year, but it’s her time to shine on Morton Avenue.
Ricker’s already got a few tricks up her sleeve ready to go for the season, most notably of which is a position change for Arden Johnston. After spending much of her career at midfield, Johnston is making the move up to the forward line, a move that Ricker will provide the offense with a boost.
“I think Arden and Erin Simino are going to do big things for us,” Ricker said. “We’re switching things up on the forward line and hoping that’s the trick to mesh it all together.”
The goals never change at Ridley – “obviously, we want to win the Central League or at least finish in the top 3,” Ricker said — but it might be tough to break through with the returning talent around the league. However, if the Green Raiders can get enough offense and good enough goaltending to pair with their lockdown defense, there’s no telling how far they can go.
– MATT CHANDIK