Not rebuilding, reloading
The Marshfield Tigers girls soccer team has to replace a lot of graduated talent but has the players to do it
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield girls soccer team enters the 2015 season with both confidence and a degree of uncertainty.
The Tigers, who finished last season with a 9-9-3 overall record and reached the WIAA Division 2 sectionals before losing to Rhinelander in a semifinal, must replace nearly all of their offense from that team.
Gone are four-time all-Wisconsin Valley Conference performer Darian Molter, the team’s leading scorer from last season (20 goals in WVC play), and fellow first-team all-WVC selection Walker Guzowski (five goals, eight assists in WVC).
That is 25 of the team’s 32 conference goals out the door due to graduation.
Of course with the ever-changing rosters of high school sports, this is to be expected from time to time, and this year’s Tigers are excited to get the season rolling.
Marshfield opens its year with a nonconference home game Thursday, April 9, against Tomah.
Senior Molly Field, junior Julia Urban, and sophomore Maddie Haessly will lead the charge at the forward position for the Tigers.
Field had two goals and two assists in conference play last season, and Urban had one goal and three assists. Haessly’s minutes increased in the latter part of her freshman season, giving the Tigers a trio of experienced players up front.
“We did lose a couple of seniors, but I think this year, if we work on our conditioning and our footwork, work as a team, we’ll be able to step up to the plate and play well,” Field said. “I think we have a lot of good speed up front and a lot of good offensive players. I think moving the ball up top will be our biggest asset.”
Seniors Amanda Feltz and Charlotte Urban return on the back end for Marshfield and will team with junior Patty Jo Bloczynski and sophomore Emily Critelli to provide defensive depth. Sophomore Andrea Carolfi will be the Tigers’ top goalkeeper.
The midfield will be controlled by junior Olivia Haessly and sophomores Maureen Cassidy and Elizabeth Holbrook.
A number of freshmen may also make the varsity roster to provide depth at all three positions.
“I think we are working harder to know each other, and we’re better as a team,” Feltz said. “We didn’t necessarily lose all of our strength in just one specific area. We still have players coming back from each section of the field.
“We have four solid players back on defense from last year, and we have a ton of players coming up that are freshmen too that are strong on defense. I’m pretty sure all sections of the field will be pretty well off.”
Coach Steve Lindner said the Tigers will rely on their defense, especially early in the season as they search for consistent scoring.
“I think that’s going to be the strength of our team because we have four defensive players that were in the rotation last year all back,” Lindner said. “We have some pretty good speed back there to go with that experience.”
Marshfield will also play a tournament at River Falls on April 11 before hosting Wausau West in its Wisconsin Valley Conference opener April 14.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.