Soccer: Speed, depth should be strengths for the Sherwood girls team
SHERWOOD - Year in and year out, it seems like some things never change.
For the Sherwood High School girls soccer team, that's a good thing.
That's because, each and every year, it seems like the Lady Bowmen put a powerhouse squad on the field.
This year looks to be no different.
'We're going to be good. We had a good summer,' Sherwood coach Bill Brown said. 'We're expecting a lot. We've got depth and speed. It should be a fun season.'
The Lady Bowmen lost some key players to graduation, but they also return a strong group from last year's team that went 5-2 in Northwest Oregon Conference matches and 11-5-1 on the season, reaching the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
'We return 11 players from last year, with eight starters back,' Brown said. 'The team is very quick. We've got some lightning-quick players. We have no superstars, just good players who play well as a team.'
Among the top returning players for Sherwood will be junior Meghan Schoen, who will play at a wing spot. Last year, she was a first-team All-NWOC selection.
'She's an exceptional player,' Brown said. 'She has a lot of toughness and skills.'
Sherwood returns another first-team all-league pick in junior midfielder Mikayla Howes.
'She's very quick and skilled,' Brown said. 'She can also play in the back.'
The Lady Bowmen have two other proven midfielders in senior returnee Teegan Koster and senior Alex Teesdale, who missed her junior year due to injury.
At goalie, Sherwood returns junior Kyeli Hendryx, who was a second-team all-league pick last year.
'She's very athletic, with good hands,' Brown said.
On defense, Sherwood will be led by senior Amanda Shelton, who was an honorable mention all-league pick a year ago.
'She's as tough and strong as ever,' Brown said.
Junior Annie Govig, who played in the middle last year, will move to the back this year.
'She's as solid as a rock,' Brown said. 'She's a great player.'
Junior Tear'sa Krieger is a returning starter who could play at a wing or in the back. Junior Taylor Gersch returns at sweeper.
At the forward spots, Sherwood was dealt a blow during the summer when senior Leanne Snyder, who was a first-team all-league pick last year, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, ending her soccer season before it started.
'That hurts,' Brown said. 'We're going to miss her.'
But Sherwood should still be strong up front, especially with junior returnee Jessica Imbrie.
'She'll cause problems with her quickness and speed,' Brown said.
Freshman Sarah Garoutte will start at striker for the Lady Bowmen.
'She's a good, solid player,' Brown said.
Freshman Ashley Fenske will also see time at forward.
Sherwood's depth will also be seen at other spots.
Junior Natalie Thomas can play in the back, or anywhere. Sophomore Emily Harris will see time at wing. Senior Lauren Vasquez will play in the back or in the midfield. The same goes for junior Carley Mills. Senior Rojia Stocker will play in the midfield and junior Michaela Pilkenton will play at wing. Junior Mikaela Doherty is the squad's second goalkeeper.
'Our offense is very, very good,' Brown said. 'We will create match-up problems. And our seniors provide strong leadership which is vital to this team.'
As for the NWOC this season, Brown sees some strong competition ahead.
'Wilsonville is very organized on defense with some quick kids,' he said. 'Liberty will be good and I think Putnam will be fairly strong. But I think it will come down to us and Wilsonville.'
Sherwood opened its season last Thursday with a 4-1 non-league win at Canby. Imbrie and Garoutte each had two goals in the win. Koster had two assists and Krieger had one assist.
The Lady Bowmen will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when they host Cleveland at 7 p.m.