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Girls needed for soccer team

The Citrus County competitive traveling squad has eight players and would like to have 14 or 15.

Some area soccer coaches and players are in search of several more skilled players to complete the roster for an under-19 girls competitive traveling team.

Bob Hoki and Kenny Young will coach the squad, which will be a part of the Citrus United Soccer League.

"This is basically a new team being organized now," said Bill Lanigan, who is helping to coordinate the team. "There has been an under-19 team in the county before, but not with the affiliation that we have now. There was one from Lecanto in years past, but the coach is not active this year.

"We have girls from all over the county," Lanigan added. "Right now it is about 50-50 girls from Citrus and Lecanto. We are trying to give the girls who are playing in high school an opportunity to play during the off-season, or the non-high school season, at a competitive level."

The nearest competitive girls soccer teams are in Hernando County, with the majority located in the Tampa area, Lanigan said. If the team currently being organized in Citrus County isn't successful in getting enough players, the eight athletes who already have signed up may have to go in search of another team _ and finding one at this point wouldn't be an easy task.

"If we can't get a team together here, they would probably have to get on another team, which would be tough at this late date," Lanigan said. "Most of the competitive teams have already had tryouts and are set."

Of the eight players signed up, some had been playing on the under-16 team and have moved up. Others had been playing on other under-19 teams.

The Citrus County competitive team will travel to Hernando, Tampa and possibly Sarasota to compete. But just as important, Lanigan said, is the opportunity to play with each other.

"It's a chance for them to play with girls from their own area," he said. "It is kind of a nice thing for the girls from over here (Inverness) to play with the girls from Lecanto. They play against each other all the time and it's nice if the more dedicated kids get to play together. The eight girls that have signed up thus far are extremely dedicated. They have gone to every practice and gone to summer camps. It would be a shame if we didn't get enough and couldn't have a team."

The team was scheduled to play a game Saturday, but had to postpone it because of the lack of players. Lanigan said the coaches are looking for about six or seven more to bring the roster to 14 or 15 players.

"At this point, we probably wouldn't have a tryout," Lanigan said. "There would be if 50 girls showed up, but right now we'll be happy to take anybody who wants to play."

For more information about joining the team, call Lanigan at (352) 637-3687.