The Pirates launched the girls soccer season quickly by hosting a round robin scrimmage with teams from Alameda, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
“These scrimmages were very helpful for the players and the coaches,” said Bill Gilmore, head Englewood coach. “The players got to work against other teams and the coaches were able to try different lineups out there today. The coaches saw some good things and we saw some areas that need work.”
But there isn’t a lot of time to work to improve the team as Englewood is on the road at Thornton March 7 and travels to Sierra on March 12. The next Pirate home game is at 11:30 a.m. March 16 in Englewood High School Stadium against Westminster.
Englewood comes into the season with the usual mix of returning letter winners, players from last year’s junior varsity and newcomers.
“We have a strong core of players who we can count on and we have six or seven other role players around them. If everyone keeps working like they have been, we’ll be competitive this season,” Gilmore said. “Our strength this season will be in our midfield. We are going to play an attacking style that creates opportunities for us to score goals.”
The Pirates do not have a returning goalie this season, but the coach said three players have stepped up and are working to win the starting spot.
“We have pair of veteran fullbacks and that will help our goalie,” Gilmore said. “The fullbacks will work to keep the ball away from the goal and help the goal with communication.”
League play is a question mark because the Pirates will face teams they wouldn’t normally play in past seasons.
“This is a whole new situation for us,” Gilmore said. “We don’t know much about any of the teams except Elizabeth, a team we have played just about every year. I think we will be a competitive team and look for good things in non-league and league play.”
Returning junior Katie Kavinsky smiles and said she was glad the spring season has rolled around because soccer is her favorite sport.
“I am excited about this season. We have girls coming back who work well together and a lot of new girls who are stepping up and doing a good job of filling in the spots in the lineup,” she said. “I feel my role this season is to be one of the captains and to help lead the team and do what I can to the team win games.”
She said her soccer strengths as center midfielder are her ability to distribute the ball to the open players. She said she also can shoot well and she has the talent of seeing the whole field and directing play.
Kavinsky is playing varsity soccer for the third year and said she is excited about this team’s potential.
“This team works well together, maybe better than the two previous Pirate teams I was part of,” she said. “Once we get better at communication, we’ll be a pretty good soccer team.”
Teammate Lacy Yaklich is returning and is also excited because it is her favorite sport.
“I am starting out at striker but I’m versatile and can play about any position,” the Pirate senior said. “I have been playing soccer for years and I feel my contributions to my team will be my experience, a good sense of the situation on the field and flow of the play. I also have pretty good speed and I can shoot the ball pretty well.”
She noted she is a senior and wants this to be the best season of her high school soccer career.
“I want to play hard individually and to do all I can to help us play well as a team,” she said. “I like the way all the players get along on and off the field and, on the team, we work well together. We have good players and I think we can be a good team and we can win some games this year.”