ARLINGTON — As school begins again, so too do high school sports, and the Arlington girls soccer team is gearing up for the season — new and improved.
The Eagles had a few injuries toward the end of last season that affected their chances at taking the division title, but they are back on the field and in top shape.
“We didn’t make it to the post season last year,” said head coach Nathan Davis. “We started out the season really strong, but we suffered a number of injuries and finished fourth. It’s nice to see everyone back to full health.”
Nine girls return to the varsity team, including five seniors — Darby Winterer, Sophia Hitsky, Madi Grogan, Marisa Rathert and Jordan Adell.
Strong returners and fresh newcomers will help give the Eagles a successful season, but first they need to focus on team-building.
“For the most part, the first two weeks are about putting together a team as one,” said Davis. “Everyone plays on different teams, so we have to get them working together. After that we are going to focus on controlling the ball and put an emphasis on maintaining possession.”
Mid-fielder Olivia Larson, now a sophomore, is back again for another goal-making year, and some newcomers are filling forward positions for a strong offense.
“Olivia Larson was on our varsity team as a freshman and scored 11 goals,” said Davis. “This year I expect her to do even better. She is a really smart player. Up front we have Bre Morren, a junior, and Danielle Baker, a sophomore, who looked really good in tryouts, and I’m excited to see what they can do.”
Sophomore Kat Sanchez is a newcomer who will fill the role as goalkeeper this season, with help on the defense by some seasoned athletes.
“Goalkeeping is really important and she has been doing really well,” said Davis. “My defense is anchored by Madi Grogan and Kerra Williamson, two defensive players who can really be counted on to make plays.”
Once the team gets settled in and ready for their first game, they have specific goals in mind.
“Our goal is to win the North and win one playoff game,” said Davis. “Winning the North requires us to play well consistently and win our home games. And if we can achieve that and make it through one playoff game, it only takes two more games to get to the district championships.”
The Eagles will compete in the Lakewood Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. Their first conference match is set for Tuesday, Sept. 10, against Lake Stevens in an away game, starting at 7:30 p.m.