Despite only losing one league game last year, the Wilson Bruins finished third and consider the season a disappointment.
“We were very young and without the presence of a senior in the starting lineup,” Wilson coach Dalton Kaufman said of last season. “That means this season we return our entire starting lineup with the addition of some very talented new players. We expect to be in the fight for our 23rd Moore League championship.”
Wilson had a very balanced offensive attack and returns four of its top five scorers from a year ago. Senior Kristin Berry, who had five goals and six assists, said this squad can keep improving if they stay together on and off the field.
“We need team chemistry,” Berry said. “I think last year we had a strong team, but I think if our team chemistry was better we could’ve gone further.”
Berry and Emma Harper are captains again after serving in the role as juniors, and they’ll be joined by senior Emma Shiffer.
“We definitely hold ourselves accountable for not playing up to the level that we should,” Berry said. “The games were obviously close and we were playing against really good opponents, but I think this year we have more of that passion to win.”
The Bruins will be extremely strong up the middle with goalkeeper Danielle Uchio, defender Kaylen Harley and Berry. Kaufman said his team will play more of a possession based style this year by building from the back through Harley, Ageliki Voulgaris and Mollie Dostalek.
Berry, Harper, Connie Herrera and Cade Mendoza will make for a very composed and experienced midfield. Mendoza dished out a team-high seven assists as a freshman.
Schiffer and junior Samantha Thompson will be the first options up top. Thompson scored five goals and had three assists last season.
Kaufman also said that freshman Olivia Herrera, Reese Doherty and Eleni Voulgaris will all be competing for starting time. Herrera, the sister of Connie, is a goalkeeper. Voulgaris, the sister of Ageliki, is a defensive midfielder and Doherty plays in the midfield.
“Our big matches this year will be against Millikan and Poly, but Lakewood will also be a competitive game,” Kaufman said. “It’s Moore League championship or bust.”
Come back tomorrow for the Wilson boys’ soccer season preview!