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Valley Catholic girls aiming high again in District 1 play

The Valiants think they have what it takes to make 2011 a keeper
by: Miles Vance IN THE MIDDLE — Valley Catholic junior midfielder Claire McLoughlin and her teammates hope to compete for the District 1 championship in 2011.

BEAVERTON - The 2010 season ended too soon for the Valley Catholic girls soccer team.

Way too soon.

The Valiants, after playing their way to second place in the District 1 regular season, were upset in the district playoffs and missed out on a chance to participate in the state playoffs.

Valley Catholic, now coached by former Jesuit and Westview player Kayla Crandall, are hoping to reverse that situation in 2011.

'I am not sure where every other team is at, but I have been pleased with the team thus far,' said Crandall, a health and PE teacher at Valley Catholic who played collegiately at Westmont College. 'The girls are continually getting better each day and come to practice to compete each day. My hope is that we continue to build on the success of this program and compete well and end up at the top.'

This year's team features eight returners from a year ago, including senior defender Katie Ford, junior midfielders Meg Rapp, Chelsea Alsdorf and Claire McLoughlin, junior defender Emily Gabourel, sophomore midfielder Makenzee Cleveland, sophomore defender Mikaela Bernards, and sophomore forward Angie Streinz.

'The upperclassmen as a whole are all stepping up and

taking leadership roles,' Crandall said. 'They all have unique ways of leading, and all of their leadership styles blend really well together. They have all found different ways to con-

tribute and it really works well for this team.'

The rest of this year's lineup includes freshman goalkeepers Amanda Carrera and Katie Vames, senior defender Kelsey

Keeler, freshman forward Hailey Moraes, freshman defender Erin McLoughlin, freshman forward Sarah Connelly, and freshman midfielder Samantha Pham.

As to which teams will challenge VC in District 1, Crandall is taking a wait and see attitude.

'Our league has a long history of success and talent,' she said. 'It is great that we are able to play against some of the best in state during league because it prepares all of us for playoffs and only makes us better.'