Girls soccer opens on Saturday (9/3/09)

Sept. 3, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With five players graduated from the 2008 Division 1 semifinalist team, Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer coach Brad Parker was to get a final look at his 2009 edition Wednesday afternoon in a home field scrimmage against Mount Mansfield Union High.

The 14-game regular season opener is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday at Milton High, a Division 2 power.

The home opener will be at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, with Rice Memorial High paying a visit.

“We are looking okay,” Parker said of the team’s progress thus far. “Our conditioning is better than it has ever been at this time of the season.”

The coach said he held a pre-season meeting in June in which conditioning was stressed.

“The kids took it to heart,” he concluded.

Graduated from last year’s 12-5 team are captain Asia Sienko, a solid midfielder, busy attacker Jahala Dudley and contributors Amanda Blanchard, Becca Donaldson and Mandy Clayton.

Parker said he has 22 players on the team, including 10 new to the CVU varsity level.

Captains are senior veterans Addie Peterson, Kylie deGroot and Lindsay Kingston, all of whom play midfield or back.

Veteran senior Erika Gobeille and junior Amanda Kinneston, up from the junior varsity, are seen as early offensive threats.

Parker is pleased with the picture in goal, where junior Emily Sackett returns from last year.

“She has worked hard and is focused” the coach said.

Up from junior varsity is sophomore Sara Monteith, who has been impressive in the early sessions.

Parker says overall he, as always, starts with the defense and works forward.

“This season I think we will get a few more goals than last year,” he predicted.

Burlington High, the team that edged the Redhawks three times in 2008, including a nudging in the semifinal, figures to be strong once again.