Sports

2005 Preview: Girls soccer back on turf

Troy Oelschlager couldn’t be with his Klahowya Eagles girls soccer team for their opening match on Wednesday against inter-district rival Olympic. But he had a good reason.

Oelschlager welcomed a new member to the Klahowya soccer family, and his own, with the birth of his new son Tyler David.

And while he did show up briefly to give the team a quick talk before the game, he probably couldn’t have averted the outcome: A 9-1 loss to the Trojans at Silverdale Stadium.

“First game I’ve ever had to abandon,” Oelschlager said. “But if there was any reason at this point, that’d be it.”

Klahowya assistant coach Jeff Quinn took the reigns for the contest. Both coaches said the team is young, but should be competitive in the Nisqually League this year.

“We only lost one senior last year,” Quinn said. “We’re pretty much the same team.”

A couple factors put the Eagles at a disadvantage on Wednesday, like the size of the program, being a 2A school battling a 4A.

But mostly, the Eagles simply couldn’t keep up with the Trojans’ blazing speed.

“I think we were more than a little shocked at their speed,” Quinn said. “I wasn’t surprised, but I think they were. It’s hard to get the small stuff when you feel the pressure of fast, tall girls. We don’t have anyone on our team that can match up with that.”

Klahowya had a tough time moving the ball against the larger Oly squad, but managed a goal in the 50th minute when Anna Stewart nailed a penalty shot by Oly goalie Pepper Fanua. And while the Eagles did have streaks of good defense and ball movement, Quinn said the loss makes it difficult to realize that sometimes.

“The second half we strung together some good stretches that were bright spots,” he said. “It’ll just be hard to get them to see that.”

Klahowya returns a strong core, including goalie Karina Ellis. Although Ellis gave up 9 goals in the opener, she made a number of strong saves that kept the game from getting more out of hand.

Seniors Jessica Squires and Talia Speer, one of the captains, will play key roles, Oelschlager said. He added the team will also need strong play from fellow co-capatins Sheree Kuehl and Amanda Clark amongst others.

The biggest thing Oelschlager said will determine their success is finding a scoring threat, or threats. While he’d like to have a dominant scorer, he said the team may end up going with a multifaceted offensive attack.

“It’s a little early yet, so we’ll see. But progress is being made,” he said. “I’m a little concerned that we still don’t have that strong scoring threat. Scoring will have to come from a variety of sources. It’s hard for teams to shut down a variety of places it’s coming from.”

And while the top Nisqually spots may be accounted for, the bulk of the league is wide open, Oelschlager said. He added that the Eagles will be right in the mix.

“Eatonville and Orting are going to be tough teams. After that, I don’t know what to expect. But I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.”

The Eagles (0-1-0) host King’s West at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Silverdale Stadium.

OLYMPIC

Olympic coach Steve Haggerty was very happy to be on the upside of the 9-1 final.

“I’m pleased with the way we worked the ball,” he said. “You could tell from the opening kick off.”

And while the team’s offensive attack worked well against the Eagles, he’s anxious to see how it will play out in the rough-and-tough Narrows League, known for its physical style of play.

“The Narrows League is tough,” Haggerty said. “Top to bottom it’s one of the toughest in the state.”

And while many players had a large role in the blowout opener, Haggerty specifically praised the play of sophomore Liz Curry, who was Oly’s best scoring threat last season. Curry had 2 goals and 2 assists against the Eagles.

“A lot of that is due to Liz Curry,” Haggerty said. “She’s like another coach out there. She has a very good sense of the game. She’s just a player with a great knowledge of the game.”

Olympic also got great outings from juniors Jennie Hoogestraat (1 goal, 1 assist) and Shannon White (1 goal, 2 assists). Freshman Allie Brown scored twice and added an assist and Rachel Haas had a score and an assist.

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