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Playmaker Anderson leads CK lady kickers
Standing in a semicircle following practice, Central Kitsap’s three senior captains reflected on the losses that ended the Lady Cougars’ previous two seasons.
Both losses were against South Kitsap. Both were in the Narrows League Tournament. Both were heartbreakers — an overtime loss in 2007 and a shootout loss in 2008.
Is this the year CK gets over the hump?
“We want to go out there and at least get out of our league,” said co-captain Hannah Anderson, who next season will play at Oregon State University. “This year we’re trying to step up that confidence — go out there and know (we’re) better than everybody else.”
For CK to make a deep run, it will be up to Anderson to keep the team together. The four-year varsity player is the glue that binds the Lady Cougars. She has totaled 21 goals over the past two seasons to go with 14 assists.
A playmaker who prefers to create for others, Anderson will patrol the center midfield position while coming forward at times when the team needs a goal.
“I’ve just always been that type of player ... I just want to play the pretty ball in that somebody can score on,” Anderson said of her pass-first mentality. “I want to do the behind-the-scenes thing.”
Yet her numbers indicate she not only has the ability to score, but will score when coach Vicky Webb pulls her forward from center midfield. CK struggled at times last season to finish on scoring opportunities, meaning creating an offensive flow — and goals — is high atop the to-do list early in 2009.
The team opened with victories against Bremerton and Bainbridge before falling to North Kitsap. It rebounded with a 5-0 win against Port Angeles Tuesday, a game in which Anderson scored twice.
“She’s the field general out there,” Webb said of Anderson. “There are people who are capable of scoring, but sometimes I just need to push her up front and she will score. But she would rather pass than shoot, that’s just the way she is.”
Forward Kirsten Anthony, who also scored two goals against PA, should be one of the beneficiaries of Anderson’s passing ability. But Webb said the team, at least early this season, has had a tendency to be too unselfish. She would like to see some of the players be more assertive on the offensive end and not pass up a shot if it’s there to take.
“We’re trying not to pass so much and shoot more,” Webb said. “We’re passing a whole bunch, but I’m saying, ‘Shoot the darn thing, you’ve all got the skills to do it.’ That’s one of the things we’re working on; somebody’s got to score. Sometimes you have to be selfish, and they’re not selfish players.”
The Lady Cougars feature a new goalkeeper in Marilyn Prosser, a sophomore making the transition from junior varsity. She has held her own thus far, giving up three goals through four games (results from yesterday’s CK-Lincoln match were unavailable at press time).
“She’s very strong, she has very good judgement and a good work ethic and she directs her team on the field,” Webb said of Prosser. “I think she’ll be fine.”
Prosser has a reliable line of defense in defender Molly Edde, a senior co-captain who is the team’s best tackler. Edde is one of just two players listed on CK’s roster as a sole defender, the other being sophomore Mandy Munsch. Midfield/defender Rebekah Daniel, a left-footer and the team’s third co-captain, also will chip in on defense, as will varsity newcomer Katie Smiley.
“Molly is our defense; she anchors the defense,” Webb said. “She’s very, very good. She’s very strong and very knowledgeable.”
Anderson said the team has chemistry, is poised to get past the league tournament and is working as hard as ever in practice to improve. Anderson, Daniel and Edde have played club soccer together since middle school and all three want to end their careers — with CK and together — on a high note.
“We’ve realized that we need to stay consistent with what we do at practice,” Anderson said. “We’re making sure our intensity in practice is the same as our intensity on the field in games.”
Asked what needs to happen for the team to have a successful season and crack the playoffs, Webb’s response was simple:
“We need to score, we need to put the ball in the net,” she said. “And they need to learn to trust each other. They need to work hard, and they need to work hard in the first five minutes of every game so we don’t fall behind.”