Englewood High School's girls soccer coach said this season's squad is a largely veteran team, and the leadership of the returning veterans should strengthen the Pirates this season. “We had a …
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Englewood High School's girls soccer coach said this season's squad is a largely veteran team, and the leadership of the returning veterans should strengthen the Pirates this season.
“We had a pretty good team last year and we only had three seniors on our roster,” coach Chris Kavinsky said. “We have 15 players back this season that were either on the varsity or saw some varsity playing during the season. I believe that field experience those players gained last year will pay off for us this season.”
Two of Englewood's returning seniors, Megan Trail and Hannah Drolshagen, have signed to play soccer in college. Trail plans to attend and play soccer for the Warriors of Midland College in Nebraska and Drolshagen has signed to attend and play soccer for Kansas Wesleyan College Coyotes.
The Pirates open play at 4 p.m. March 7 on the road against nearby St. Mary's Academy. Englewood's first home game is at 4 p.m. March 18 against Aurora Central.
Kavinsky said defense will be one of the team's strengths again this season. He said Drolshagen returns in goal for the Pirates and two of last year's leading scorers, Trail and center midfielder Kaley Carpenter, are back in the lineup. Trail and Carpenter are also the team captains.
“We plan to play a high-tempo style on both ends of the field,” the coach said. “When we have possession, we plan to use our speed and skills to push the ball up the field quickly. We have girls on the team who can put the ball in the net area from outside as well as players who can take hard shots on goal if they drive deep into the other team's end of the field. Defensively we are strong. Our fullback line in front of the goal is very good and Hannah was great in goal last year. She made a lot of good stops before she got hurt about half way through the season. She is fully recovered and ready for our season to start.”
He said the league will again be very competitive. He expects both Conifer and Skyview to be title contenders again this season.
“We have a preseason schedule against good teams and we have good teams in our league. That is important because you get better by playing good teams.” the coach said. “I feel we will be very strong this season and I expect we will be battling for one of the top spots in our league.”
Kavinsky said he expects about 35 girls to be on the roster this season. He said his returning veterans will strengthen the varsity, plus many of the younger players who were with the team last season return on the junior varsity, so that also should be a very competitive team.
The team officially began practicing Feb. 25 but most of the players have either been playing winter sports or taking part in unofficial soccer team workouts in the months leading up to the first official practice. If the weather is bad, the team will practice in the gym along with the other spring sports teams. Kavinsky said he hopes the weather warms up and stays warm soon so the team can move practice outside.
“Space is limited in the gym but we will practice in there if the weather won't let us get outside,” he said. “But we really want to move outside where we practice is much better when we are playing are on the turf and playing on a full-size field.”
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