Sports

Girls soccer preview: Wolves will draw on experience to contend this fall

Junior Becca Schoales scored a team-high 17 goals despite playing just eight games because of an injury last year. - File photo
Junior Becca Schoales scored a team-high 17 goals despite playing just eight games because of an injury last year.
— image credit: File photo

Schedule Date Opponent Time
Thursday Lincoln 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 Stadium 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 Central Kitsap 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Olympia 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 Mount Tahoma 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Bellarmine Prep 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 Shelton 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Gig Harbor 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Stadium 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Central Kitsap 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 Olympia 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Mount Tahoma 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 Bellarmine Prep 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Shelton 7 p.m.
Oct. 27 Gig Harbor 7 p.m.

Coach: Julie Cain, third season (23-4-8).
Key returners: D Shannon Beisley, jr.; D Delaney Diglovanni, jr.; D Jessica Johnson, sr.; MF Kailey Lyman, sr.; F Brita Oleson, jr.; F Claire Posadas, sr.; F Shannon Powers, jr.; F Becca Schoales, jr.; GK Brianna Smallidge, sr.; D Logan Stec, sr.
Key departures: MF Miranda Caballero, jr.; MF Kelsey Callaghan, graduated; MF Riley Dopps, graduated.
Key newcomers: MF Hailey Parker, fr.; F Rachel Prince, fr.; D Melyssa Smith, fr.

Inexperience and injuries.

Those were two factors that South Kitsap’s girls soccer program had to contend with last season.

They also are part of the reason why the Wolves feel they can improve on last year’s 9-3-5 record. South finished third in Class 4A Narrows with a 7-2-5 mark and advanced to the West Central District Tournament.

The Wolves only graduated two players, midfielder Riley Dopps, who now plays at Seattle Pacific University, and defender Kelsey Callaghan.

But coach Julie Cain insists that does not mean players have locked up starting positions. She said there could be as many as a half-dozen freshmen challenging for varsity positions.

Becca Schoales, who played varsity as a freshman two years ago, welcomes the challenge.

“It’s going to make a really good, competitive environment,” she said.

Schoales was limited to eight games last year after she sprained her right ankle Oct. 12 against Central Kitsap. Despite that, she scored a team-high 17 goals. Schoales, who plays for the U17 National Team, said she might move from forward to midfield this season because of some depth issues at that position. In addition to Dopps’ departure, junior Miranda Caballero tore the anterior-cruciate ligament in her left knee during the summer and won’t play this season.

“That’s a huge hole for us,” Cain said.

If Schoales moves to midfielder — Cain was noncommittal about that possibility — she likely would pair with senior Kailey Lyman. Cain called Lyman the team’s most improved player from last year.

South’s depth at forward also might allow Schoales to shift to midfield. Junior Brita Oleson, who scored 10 goals and had nine assists last season, returns along with classmate Shannon Powers and senior Claire Posadas.

“I think we’re going to be able to score goals,” Cain said. “We’re going to go deep into our bench and we’re going to run.”

More offensive production could result in dramatic improvement for the Wolves in 4A Narrows, where they were held scoreless or limited to one goal seven times. South shut out eight opponents and did not allow more than one goal in a contest until a 3-0 loss in its regular-season finale at Gig Harbor.

South returns experienced depth at defender with seniors Jessica Johnson and Logan Stec and juniors Shannon Beisley and Delaney Diglovanni.

“(Diglovanni) runs our back line,” Cain said. “She’s quick, tenacious and distributes the ball well.”

Cain said freshman Melyssa Smith also is expected to compete for playing time at defender.

While she likes her roster — Cain called it the deepest in her three seasons at the school — she noted that Bellarmine Prep and Stadium perennially contend for league championships and others, such as Gig Harbor, should be improved.

The top four teams in 4A Narrows advance to the West Central District Tournament.

“That’s why we’re not even thinking about playoffs right now,” she said. “We’re focusing on our league season.”

• Cain announced that former Brigham Young University defender Jessica Carter has joined the Wolves as an assistant coach. The Provo, Utah, native also is an assistant for Olympic College’s women’s soccer team.

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