Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears complete deep playoff run, eye more success
Published 12:16 am Saturday, April 15, 2023
LITTLE CYPRESS — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville girls soccer team isn’t just a program on the rise — the Lady Bears appear here to stay.
LCM ended the regular season with a 15-9-1 overall record, also going 8-4 in a highly competitive District 17. The Lady Bears kept their impressive momentum throughout a deep playoff run, outscoring their first three postseason opponents by a combined 20-2 goal difference.
Although the LCM girls’ campaign came to a disappointing end following a 5-1 loss to Lorena in the regional semifinals, they still cemented their place in the school record books.
This year’s fourth-round playoff appearance is the second-best result in program history.
“Since we went four rounds deep this year, we were very excited about that,” head coach Lauren Martin said. “The girls are all about showing up and taking care of business. They’re very determined, and as a coach that makes me very excited. I’m not having to motivate them because they’re already self-motivated.”
In her three years as head coach at LCM, Martin has constructed a framework for consistent success.
Her teams have reached the playoffs every year and haven’t placed lower than third in the district standings.
Coaching at Little Cypress-Mauriceville is an extra-special experience for Martin, too. She is a former Lady Bears standout herself — she played three years of varsity soccer when she attended LCM high school.
“This really means a lot to me,” Martin said. “Being a former player and now being able to coach them, I really care about maintaining and building the program, and just getting better every season.”
Much like several other branches of LCM athletics, the girls soccer team is undergoing a bit of a youth movement. 14 of the 18 players on the roster were underclassmen. Despite their youth, the Lady Bears handled the playoffs with poise.
“A lot of pressure can come with playing varsity sports at a young age, but the girls rose to the occasion,” Martin said. “It was really exciting for me to see where we already are, and where we can build from here.”
Looking ahead to next season, the Lady Bears may be set up for another deep playoff run. The team will feature 15 returners, so most of the roster already has varsity experience.
Martin said that while there may be some holes to fill, several underclassmen seem ready to rise and fill those gaps.
Sophomore Madison McConnell played a utility role all over the field this past season and could be ready to take the next step.
Freshmen Jada Montagne and Mallory Russell are both names to watch, as well.
“We have lots of young talent that are ready to put in the work and be successful,” Martin said. “The expectations are going to be the same. We’re going to show up and work hard every day, and we’re going to take care of business.”
— Written by Keagan Smith