Women’s Fire soccer is underway in their effort for victory, looking to improve upon a rather disappointing 2007 season. After going winless with one tie all season, it is understandable that the team is looking forward to proving their mettle this year.
Second-year coach Nikki McLellan is no doubt eager to show what her team can do. Seniors lost to the Fire include forward/midfield Leah Heister, midfielder Kim Jansen, midfielder/defender Emma Bell Bern, forward/midfielder Rebecca Ganster, midfield/defender Sonali Mishra and forward Jessica Jones, as well as goalkeeper Jessica Platt. Losses of this magnitude could be damaging, and McLellan will be needing the help of the four current seniors, including forward Megan Quick and midfielder/defender Carrie Ramig to help lead the team on the field.
Additions to the team include freshmen midfielder/forward Claire Turner and defenseman/midfielder Laura Johnson, and most importantly, two young goalkeepers, Alex Rauland and Mollie Strawn, who also fill in as defenders. It will be a trial by fire for the young women in the net, but there is little to fear.
While their 0-5 start for the season has not been ideal, reaching for the panic button this early in the season would be premature. With the youth this team has, it may take some time for the players to get used to one another and the challenges the conference poses. With one full season already under her belt, there is much hope for coach McLellan.