Thirteen of the 24 girls on the team are either juniors or sophomores, with only three of those returning players. Those 13 players will be expected to fill some of the holes left by the departed players.
"The kids who are returning have a lot of experience," said DeForest. "But we are still running a lot of people through, trying to find the combination that is going to work best for us."
One of the big roles that will need to be filled is goalkeeping, with last year's starter Callie Zak having graduated. Right now, DeForest has three players battling for the starting spot. Senior Meghan Kardas was the back-up last year and has the most varsity experience, while sophomores Samantha Sullivan and Joanna Jorgensen are up from junior varsity.
"We're going to have to work to fill in at goalie but Meghan [Kardas] comes back with time in goal for us and she practiced against the varsity last year," said DeForest. "Both Joanna and Samantha have played a lot of keeper since the end of last season and have worked hard at improving their skill."
DeForest has a strong defense to protect whoever ends up standing in goal, as he returns stopper Emma Hallet and sweeper Kate Montague. The two outside fullback positions will need to be filled, with four-year
"Erin [Thompson] is an experienced defender coming back," said DeForest. "Tess [Pollard], a freshman, seems to have some really good skills and a good understanding of the game. With Emma [Hallet] and Kate [Montague], that gives us some solid strength."
In the midfield, Burr and Burton is still putting the pieces together. Sam Labate ate up minutes for the Bulldogs last year and the coach is still trying to find a way to replace her.
"We have a lot of players with good skills," said DeForest. "We are really looking for that combination of players that really seems to click."
Up front, BBA will have to replace the departed Lizzie Jorgensen and Abby Marmer, but last year's second leading scorer, Daisy Sullivan, returns as a sophomore player this season.
Senior co-captain Cara Corvino will get some time up front, along with Jordan Harmon and Bridget Mulvey, while DeForest is also expecting get goals from the midfield.
"I think we are going to have one of those teams where you can't just concentrate on one or two people," said DeForest. "If you do, someone else is going to step up and score. You like to have that problem. We don't know who is going to be the go-to, but we feel like there is a bunch of them who have the ability to score."
While DeForest does not think that the team has the all-star caliber players, he thinks one of the strengths of the team is going to be the depth. He thinks that the they have more quality players spread throughout the lineup.
"I think the quality of the entire team is really strong," said DeForest. "I think the fact that we can put a lot of people through will give us fresh legs and fresh legs can make a big difference. I don't think we will see big drop off when we need to sub people out. We will be able to play high-pressure soccer for 80 minutes."
One of the things working against the Bulldogs is that they remain in a very tough Div. I. There are no breaks in their schedule for some of the newer players to get varsity experience, so they will all be learning on the fly.
"The girls come with good soccer sense, good soccer skills, but a lot of girls are coming up from the JV-level. The speed of the game is different from what they have seen," said DeForest. "I think after a few games we should settle in and be competitive."
Because of the lack of varsity experience DeForest will be leaning on his senior captains, Montague and Corvino, along with the six other seniors.
"They have seen what it takes for us to be successful as a team," said DeForest. "They've been working themselves hard in practice and pushing the younger girls."
Burr and Burton will open the season at home on Tuesday, Sept. 4, against Woodstock.