By VERANIA PAULIN/Panther Growls News

Members of the 2023-24 Lufkin High School girls soccer team include (front row) Natalie Salinas, Giselle Gonzalez, Keira Lawrence, (second row) Jojo Nolazco, Natalie Alday, Isabel Franco, Martha Cuc, Alondra Chavez, (third row) Meredith Monroy, Alyssa Luna, Jayden Garcia, Jade Alvarez, Esmeralda Almaguer, (back row) Estrella Orta, Aly Morales, Lynda Morales, Jaylnn Orta, Olivia Loyola and Karina Duron. (Photo by VERANIA PAULIN/Panther Growls News)

Ashley Dominguez, in her first year as head coach of the Lady Pack soccer program, said one of the reasons she is excited about the role is getting to have the final say in how the girls prepare for their season.

The varsity Lady Panthers are scheduled to begin their season with tournaments in Kilgore, Waco and Longview in January, with their first standalone game set for 4 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Jase Magers Soccer Complex on the Lufkin High School campus.

When asked what this year’s team strengths are, Dominguez said the squad is “100% led by example, they put in the work, and they are always looking to improve.” The team’s weakness, she said, might be that they are non-confrontational.

Dominguez said the team will look to Natalie Salinas and Isabel Franco to be leaders this year. She said her goal this year as head coach is for the girls to compete — and not just for the feeling of satisfaction.

Dominguez said she expects the team to do well this year, but that competing against Kingwood Park will be a challenge.

“It all comes down to the girls believing in themselves,” she said.