Wilson is going for a three-peat as Moore League champions after winning 12 of the last 16 titles. However, the Bruins have to replace nine starters after graduating 16 seniors.
“It’s definitely a rebuilding season for us but I’m confident in our program,” Wilson coach Dalton Kaufman said. “We have eight players back so it’s about recreating that culture, and the girls are buying in.”
Kaufman added that he really likes the young athleticism and elite club experience his squad has to use on the wide field turf at home this season. Senior captain Kiki Fields will run the midfield with junior captain Kristin Berry. Junior captain Emma Harper will lead the defensive back line with returning junior starter Lindsay O’Malley.
Newcomers like sophomore Samantha Thompson and freshman Cade Mendoza will be called upon to play major roles this season. Kaufman said Thompson, who won a National Championship with Beach FC over the summer, had the talent to play for an developmental academy but decided she wanted to play high school soccer.
Mendoza is a diminutive striker who already has a goal and an assist this year, and Kaufman called both her and Thompson incredibly dynamic players.
Kaufman also said the turf at Wilson has already changed the way his team is playing, and is showed during the 3-1 win over visiting St. Joseph last week.
“We were connecting 13-14 passes per possession,” Kaufman said. “It was beautiful. It would be impossible to play like that on the old field. Now you have to be athletic and skilled to compete in this city. We can place a greater emphasis on building tactics so we can be comfortable going nowhere. It will come.”
Junior Mollie Dostalek will be a huge lift for the Wilson depth when the transfer completes her sit out period this month.
Wilson is in CIF Southern Section Division 1 against this season, but hasn’t won playoff game since 2014-15 when the Bruins reached the semifinal round alongside Long Beach Poly.