Some talented and experienced players give Greenfield girls soccer head coach Rob Blake reason for optimism in 2013.
"With returning captains Shareen Othman, Megan Plahmer and Courtney Corrao, this team is more mature, experienced and ready to take on the Woodland Conference," Blake said.
Sophomore Dana Schwab, who tallied 18 goals last season and earned second-team all-Woodland honors, will pace the offense.
"I am super-excited," Blake said. "We are in a position to win and win now, and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Plahmer helped the Hustlin' Hawks open the season with a victory Saturday, scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 triumph over West Allis Hale.
Goalkeeper Andjelka Ljubic posted the shutout, along with her defense, which held the Huskies without a shot.
Hale was kept in the game by freshman goalkeeper Michelle Rohde, who made six saves, including two on breakaways.
"She was magnificent, giving the team a fighting chance," Hale head coach Brent Behnke said of Rohde. "She looks every part a varsity goalkeeper and will be an all-conference performer in years to come."
Both Blake and Behnke are looking forward to the season.
"This season, we are looking to take that next step forward and really utilize the skills developed and the experience grown from the past couple of years," Blake said. "I have set some lofty goals this year and know we are more than capable of achieving those goals."
The Hawks are slated for two Woodland games in the next week, welcoming New Berlin West at 4:30 p.m. today and visiting Greendale at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday.
"This is the most athletic team we have had for many years," Behnke said. "If they are able to mix their athleticism with good tactical sense, we can have a good season."
The Huskies are set to visit Waukesha North at 6:30 p.m. today and host South Milwaukee at 7 p.m. this Friday.
The area's other two teams, Whitnall and West Allis Central, have had different starts to this season. The Falcons have already played three games and went 1-2, while the Bulldogs had not taken the field going into this week.
The field turf at the new Falcon Field helped the Falcons to get in three games despite the wet conditions in the area.
Their victory was a 2-1 decision over Greendale on April 11 behind goals from junior Katie Schauer and senior forward Ashley Markowiak.
Schauer connected on a 20-yard direct kick just 11 minutes into the contest, then Markowiak scored at 20 minutes on what head coach Robert Antholine called a highlight-reel goal.
"She beat three defenders and the goalkeeper on a breakaway," said Antholine, who also praised senior midfielder Gabbie Weis for her efforts in the game. "It was a terrific goal."
Whitnall lost a 3-0 game to Waukesha North on April 9 and fell, 3-0, to Oconomowoc on Friday night.
The Falcons are slated to welcome Shorewood at 6:30 p.m. today and play in the Muskego Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Bulldogs, who have had three games postponed, are scheduled to visit Racine Park at 4 p.m. today and play in the Sheboygan South Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday.
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