Arlington soccer back on the pitch | SLIDESHOW

ARLINGTON – The Lady Eagles soccer team has kicked off the 2012 season, and the players are building their skills on top of the strength that returned from last year.

“My defense was strong last year, and I returned all of them,” said head coach Nathan Davis. “They were all veterans, so we knew we could build on that.”

In 2011, Arlington placed third in their league and made it to the district championships. They lost to Edmonds-Woodway in the first game of the playoffs, however, and it’s a loss that they keep in mind as they compete now.

“Our team goal is they want to get to the playoffs and win a game,” said Davis. “We want to be at least one step further than last year.”

Arlington’s practice began on Aug. 20, and they tied 1-1 with Lake Stevens in their first game on Sept. 4, which they followed with a victory over Snohomish on Sept. 6.

The first few weeks for the Eagles meant building up their offense, after losing two All-Wesco First Team picks — Sadie Hitsky and Dana Canaria — to graduation.

“They scored 90 percent of our goals last year,” said Davis. “But we’ve got some great newcomers.”

One of those newcomers is freshman center-midfielder Olivia Larson, who proved herself strong in tryouts and landed a spot in the varsity lineup.

“Olivia Larson is a great freshman center-mid who is going to be playing the same position as Sadie Hitsky did,” said Davis. “We’ve also got a sophomore up front, Jillian Busby, who is replacing our other forward from last year, Teresa Wadey, who was an All-Wesco Second Team pick last year. Junior Marisa Rathert, will be taking Dana’s spot. They are all really strong players.”

“Olivia, as a freshman, is someone people are going to watch. Marisa as a goal-scorer is doing an outstanding job. On the defense, Madi Grogan is a center-back doing a great job. And Darby Winterer an outside-back has been playing really well.”

The new offense may have a bit of learning to do, but they are not overloading themselves with complicated plays.

“Our goal is to play simpler soccer and work on possession, keeping possession and avoiding turnovers.We’ve had a bit more than I’d like, but they are learning a lot,” said Davis. “We are not quite ready to game plan yet, we are just focusing on ourselves and building up what we know.”

The team faces Lynnwood High School in an away game on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m.


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