Expectations still the same (08-20-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ Sentinel Sports Writer   
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 09:33
Perrysburg's Allex Brown (18) celebrates Perrysburg's win over Medina with teammates. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - To ask Perrysburg's girls soccer team to repeat the season that it had last year would be downright harsh.
The dominant team of 2012 that went 23-0, while claiming the Division I state championship, will have a slightly different look without standouts Maddy Williams, Mollie Whitacre and Chloe Buehler.
Even with those three lost to NCAA Division I schools, do not expect the Yellow Jackets to have lower expectations.
"The challenge and the difference will be that we need to be able to possess the ball the way that we used to," said third-year co-head coach Jorge Diaz. "Mollie Whitacre controlled the tempo and distributed the ball well. So now that's going to be the opportunity for Hannah (Salmon) and Josie (Fowler) to step up."
On paper, last year's Yellow Jackets were an offensive juggernaut as they scored 108 goals, an average of 4.7 goals per game.
But in person Perrysburg's true strength was its defense.
In 2012 the 'Jackets allowed just five goals and compiled 19 shutouts, tied for the fourth-most in one season in Ohio high school girls soccer history.
The state record for shutouts in a season is 20, set by three different schools.
Perrysburg will return three of its starting defenders, Abby Sattler, Andrea Wertz and Lindy DeLong. Kathryn Weber, who saw extensive playing time last year, will assume the fourth spot on defense.
In total, the 'Jackets return 12 letter winners from a year ago including and six starters.
"Anytime you can get any returning players to come back you automatically get great leadership," said co-head coach Margaret Bernard. "But to have 12 coming back from the season we had, it's going to be even better. They know exactly what needs to be done and how to make this season as great as it can be."
Unlike last year, Perrysburg will look to distribute its goal scoring. Williams scored a team-high 48 goals last year, while Allex Brown and Lucy Walton were second on the team with 13 each.
"Teams are going to have to play us straight," Diaz said. "Last year they had two or three on Maddy and we knew that we had to play around that. Now we have different players to go to."
Sarah Baer has the difficult task of replacing Buehler in goal. Buehler recorded 70 saves in 2012.
Diaz said that Baer has a few areas to improve, but her quickness and agility are strengths in goal.
"The girls have taken it upon themselves to come into practice early and work with her on distributing the ball, trying to make her ready," said Diaz.
"They're trying to embrace the culture that we had last year and pass it on to the newer players and you can see that," he continued. "I can feel that in practices."

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