Lady Vikings will be very young this year with 15 freshmen

The Forest Grove girls soccer team is young.

Very young.

The Lady Vikings have three seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and a whopping 15 freshmen on their roster this year. But, despite the youth of the side, Forest Grove is off to a very good start, with a 3-0-1 record so far.

The Vikings began the season by beating North Salem 5-0. They then drew with David Douglas 1-1 before winning 3-0 against Benson and 4-1 against Parkrose.

Knowing how young his team is, Forest Grove coach Jaime Ramos admits that the Lady Vikings’ start has surprised him.

“It was very surprising to have a good start because we have the youngest team in the league,” Ramos said. “When you have a lot of freshmen on your team, it’s very difficult to know how you’re going to be in the season. But, we got off to a really good start.”

While Ramos looked at this year as a stepping stone to building the program for the future, he says that the Vikings’ team chemistry has helped them earn good results so far.

“One of the things that we’re looking for is to develop this young team for the next two or three years,” Ramos said. “The way it is right now, it’s a very easy transition. They have really good chemistry on and off the field and they’re reflecting that in the games.

“When you have that type of group, it’s pretty easy to build on and you can have a chance to win some games.”

Forest Grove is a very balanced team on offense and defense. The reason for that balance is Ramos’ “total football” philosophy.

“The strength of our team is being pretty balanced,” Ramos said. “Everybody knows their role. We have 10 defenders and 10 attackers on the field and everyone knows that they need to sacrifice themselves to win as a team.

“It’s easier for the players when they know their position and everyone performs at 100 percent.”

With that “total football” philosophy, a strong midfield is essential. So far this season, the Vikings have been getting very strong midfield play from junior Rachel Mason and freshman Veronica Campuzano.

“They are very solid for us right now,” Ramos said. “ Everybody contributes on this team and everybody works hard. But, those are the two players who give us a little bit of strength and composure in the middle.”

Although it is early in the season, Ramos believes the Ladiy Vikings can continue playing well and be one of the four Pacific Conference teams to earn automatic playoff bids.

“With the way we’ve been seeing the other teams in the league playing and the way we’re playing, we have a chance to be one of the four teams who go straight to the playoffs,” Ramos said. “We have that chance, if we keep focusing and keep working together.

“It’s pretty early to say where we’re going to end, but that’s our goal — to get to the playoffs this year.”

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