GIRLS SOCCER: Katie Perry roared in Lady Tigers season opening win over Freedom on Thursday

 Lady Tigers’ sophomore forward Anna Schmidt (24) looks to cross up Freedom’s Riley Carswell (19) in the home win on Thursday, February 27. (Photo by Gene Leatherman)oard’s senior mid-fielder Abigail Matthews (5) collected an assist in the home victory, 4-0, over the Lady Patriots on Thursday. Matthews assisted on one of Katie Perry’s goals. (Photo by Gene Leatherman)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

The Fred T. Foard Lady Tigers' varsity soccer team picked up where it left off last year as it opened the 2020 season on a high note in a 4-0 home win over Freedom (0-1) on Thursday.

The Lady Tigers (1-0) come back on the heels of a fantastic season in which it finished 19-3-1 overall and 14-0 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference – which crowned it conference champs. It lost in the third round of the state playoffs to South Point.

Foard lost a key piece in its offense in forward Abby Walker, but returned six starters including four All-Conference players: sophomore defender Katie Whalen, junior defenders Bianca Tamas and Chloe Sain, as well as sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Wolgemuth.

In addition to an All-Conference nod, Wolgemuth is the reigning Northwestern Foothills 2A Defensive Player of the Year after acquiring 14 shutouts. She was also an All-Region player in 2019.

Other key returnees include senior mid-fielders Abigail Matthews and Hannah Cummings, as well as sophomore forward Anna Schmidt. A likely focal figure this season will be a new addition to the line-up in senior forward Katie Perry.

Perry is already making a splash for her Lady Tigers as she obtained two of the team's four goals in Thursday's victory over the Lady Patriots.

Wolgemuth earned her first shutout of the season and garnered five saves in doing so (two in the first period and three in the second half).

Lady Tigers' Ilene Calhoun collected a team-high two assists with the first coming on Rebeca Leal's goal at the 27:09 mark of the first period. Matthews assisted on Perry's first goal at the 29:04 mark of the first half to lead, 2-0.

While, Calhoun obtained her second assist which again came on a Perry goal at the 32:31 mark of the first half to put Foard ahead, 3-0.

At the 3:08 mark of the second half, Lady Tigers' Brianna See put the final nail in the coffin for the Lady Patriots as she earned a goal coming off of an assist by Cummings.

“(I'm) excited about working with this group of girls,” said Lady Tigers' 17-year veteran head coach Stanley Elliott. “They are hungry and want to do well this year.”

Foard will battle Maiden again in front of its home crowd on Monday at 6 p.m.