For the first time in several years, Broughton is not the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A girls soccer favorite.
Broughton was 26-0-1 last year but returns only four starters.
"This is the first time in a long time that we haven't returned an all-state player," Broughton coach Izzy Hernandez said. "We have some good players, but we're young.
"Some of these girls played behind and with some outstanding players. Now, it's their turn."
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Since 1992, the Caps have won nine state 4-A titles, been state runner-up four times and have a 347-16-21 overall record. No Broughton team has lost more than three games in a season during the period.
DINKENOR RETURNS: Paul Dinkenor is back at the helm of the Leesville Road girls soccer team.
Dinkenor started the Pride's boys and girls soccer program in 1993, but resigned his coaching positions after the 2004 girls season.
His boys and girls teams had a combined 322-125-38 record at Leesville.
The boys teams won state 4-A championships in 1997 and 1999, when the team finished 27-0-1.
"I'm very excited to be back with the Leesville girls," Dinkenor said. "We have a lot of work to do, a lot of challenges to be met."
Dinkenor, who coached at North Forsyth before joining the Pride, has a 493-225-62 overall record.
GARNER COUNTS ON WESCOE: Garner coach Connie Barnes says the return of Kaitlin Wescoe will help the Trojans contend in the Greater Neuse.
Wescoe, who has signed with N.C. State, missed last season with a knee injury. She tore the major ligaments in her left knee but has made a recovery.
Wescoe is the daughter of former N.C. State standout linebacker Kyle Wescoe.
DURHAM ACADEMY IN THE CHASE: Durham Academy (17-2-2 in 2006) has 10 starters back from a team that lost to Charlotte Country Day 4-A in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association championship game.
Midfielder Laura Leigh Sarfin is the team catalyst, coach Susan Ellis said. Molly Pathman was the club's second-leading scorer in 2006 as an eighth-grader. Midfielder Kendall Bradley has signed with Duke.
FIKE HAS VETS: Wilson Fike has nine starters back from a 26-1 team, but is missing Sarah Winslow, one of the state's all-time scoring leaders (214 goals, 91 assists).
Coach Toni Varacci hopes a toughened regular-season schedule will help the Demons during the playoffs.
RIVERSIDE EYES PLAYOFFS: Riverside coach Caleb Dickinson expects a tougher team this season.
"In past years we have coasted through the season and we did not have the tools that are necessary to be successful against the best teams in the state," Dickinson said.
"This year we will be looking to grow as a team throughout the year and be on an upward slope when we hit the playoffs."
LEE COUNTY BUILDS: Lee County returns eight starters from a 4-12-1 team, but the team is loaded with freshmen and sophomores.
SUB COACH: David Hicks is coaching the Northern Vance team while Marian Faulkner is on maternity leave.