The Hillsboro Hawks Girls Varsity Soccer team is already kicking it into high gear in preparation for the Spring season. The team is returning four key players to help jump start the Hawks in hopes of winning the District championship. Head Coach Sam Nansel says his expectations are clear and simple, “We want to win some games and have some fun. I have a good group of girls this year and I’m looking forward to this season. Our goal is to win the District championship, then go from there.”
Senior Mackenzie Baker will be playing a key role for the Hawks as she returns to start as goal keeper. Nansel said, “MacKenzie was our goalie two years ago, and her experience and winning mentality will be important for our more inexperienced players.” Baker will be supported by two returning center backs, Senior Nicole Evans, and Junior Miranda Gallaway. The offense will be lead by Junior Colleen Theiss.
Nansel believes the strength of his team will be their willingness to listen and learn. He commented, “The girls on this team are intelligent, and learn from their mistakes. A work in progress will be understanding each of their roles on our team, and in our formation.”
This season, the Hawks will face many difficult opponents. Nansel noted, “This is one of the toughest soccer schedules we’ve had in recent years. I enjoy playing a challenging schedule because it gives a true gauge of what we need to work on, and where we need to improve in order to get where we want to be at the end of the season, the District champions.” He added, “One of the challenges with playing tough teams is not losing focus of our goals through the ups and downs of the season.”
There are several Sophomores who will be attempting to contribute to the team as members of the Varsity squad. Nansel said, “Baylei Clubb, Carolyn Leonard and Mikaela Smith will all see a good number of minutes this season. I’m looking forward to their contributions, and watching them grow.”
Playing a double pivot midfield will provide some chances for other talented players such as Juniors Bella Stephens and Ashlynn Dean, and Seniors Emily Woodham and Alex Wick, to have a chance to earn a starting role.
On the midfield line, Junior Flynn Perry and Senior Gracie Schmitt will be key to the offensive success. Nansel noted, “Both attended every off season workout, and Gracie has become a great leader for our team.”
Finally, on the front line of the offense, Senior striker Zoe Wood will look to bolster the attack. Nansel mentioned, “She’s strong on the ball, and is good at creating opportunities for us.”
The Spring season is just around the corner, and this group of girls is primed and ready to attack. Look for the Hillsboro Hawks to challenge the competition, bring home some victories, and make a run at the District title.