Familiarity is key for Lady Lobo soccer in 2020

Having coached soccer at a variety of Austin area schools during his career on the sidelines, Sean Dickson understands familiarity for athletes is essential during a coaching transition.

Familiarity is what Dickson, a three-year assistant coach with the Lehman Lady Lobos soccer program, said has helped to bridge his promotion to the head coaching spot in recent weeks.

It’s a move he hopes can lead to success for a Lady Lobo squad that narrowly missed a shot at the postseason a year ago.

“I’m excited for the opportunity in a calm way. I’ve known these girls for three years now as their assistant (coach). I want to see them succeed,” Dickson said. “These girls have made it a smooth transition for me.”

Dickson, who has coaching experience at Austin High, Del Valle High and San Marcos High, acquired the Lady Lobo head coaching job after a vacancy developed several weeks prior to the start of the season. Dickson becomes the third head coach to lead the Lady Lobos within an eight-month span.

Even with the short timeframe, Dickson said his knowledge of the team’s technical and tactical strengths and weaknesses has helped him prepare for the season.

“I don’t have to learn all those things,” Dickson said. “That’s a good thing there.”

Aiding Dickson is a roster comprised of juniors that includes Lily Torres and Jade Hickey who are expected to anchor the Lady Lobo defense. Sophomore Hannah Loya as well as twins Courtney and Delaney Alexander are slated to make an impact this season along with goalkeeper Jennifer Ochoa.

So far, Lehman has opened the 2020 campaign with a 2-1 mark that featured a 7-0 win over San Antonio Highlands. Lady Lobo Alyssa Ponce leads the team with two goals so far this year.

Dickson said he aims to capitalize on the Lady Lobos’ strength of attacking the middle of the field. At the same time, the team’s strategy and style will depend on the personnel on the field.

“It’s a player-centered game,” Dickson said.

Experience will also play a vital role for the Lady Lobos during district play. Many of the upperclassmen had experience taking on a rigorous 25-6A schedule that includes matches against favorites Westlake and Lake Travis. Familiarity taking on those programs, and knowing what it takes to win, is what Dickson hopes can translate to wins and a possible return to the postseason.

“Hopefully, we can knock off one or two of them,” Dickson said. “We got close (to the playoffs) last year, so hopefully we can springboard to getting a playoff berth.”

Lehman opens district play Friday against Austin High at House Park in Austin. The Lobos return home Jan. 14 to take on Ann Richards at Lobo Field at 7:45 p.m.

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