New Tiger coach has high expectations

¦ Tigers return four All-CLC players
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

NICOLE MUGAN, senior midfi elder, is a key returning player for the Howards Grove soccer team. Mugan earned All-CLC first-team honors in 2013. — Review file photo NICOLE MUGAN, senior midfi elder, is a key returning player for the Howards Grove soccer team. Mugan earned All-CLC first-team honors in 2013. — Review file photo HOWARDS GROVE – New head coach Todd Fischer is very upbeat about his Howards Grove girls soccer team which returns nine starters from last year’s Division 3 regional finalist.

The Tigers finished fourth in the Central Lakeshore Conference with an 8-6 record and were 11-8 overall. HGHS beat Sheboygan Christian in the first round of regional play, 2-0, and then lost in the finals to Sturgeon Bay in double overtime, 2-1.

“While the CLC is a very competitive conference, I am very optimistic that our girls will do well,” said Fischer who replaced Eric Worth who stepped down after a very successful four-year stint.

Headlining the group of returning starters, who also make up the list of of letter winners, is senior midfielder Nicole Mugan who was an All-CLC first-team pick last year. The Tigers have three other all-league players back in senior forward Allison Schmid, a second-team choice in 2013, and a pair of honorable-mention players – junior midfielder Morgan Edge and sophomore defend- er Zyta Mueller.

Edge led the Tigers in scoring last season with eight goals and Schmid was third with six.

The other starters back are senior midfielders Taylor Beninghaus and Hayley Reinke, senior defenders Bailey Schaller and Krista Hackbarth and junior defender Carlie Stauss.

“Our strengths are our depth of talent and ball skills. Our weaknesses is communication,” said Fischer who is also the HGHS boys head soccer coach.

“We are pretty deep in most positions. We have a lot of girls that play midfield and defense.

“I expect our upperclassmen to lead our squad. Each of them have already shown their leadership abilities in our first weeks of practice,” Fischer observed.

Fischer is high on the 13-player freshman crop.

“Our freshman girls are joining the varsity squad with a lot of success as recreation and select players. They have played together for many years and have a cohesiveness on the field that evident,” he noted.

“I’m looking forward to helping them grow at the varsity level.

“Our keys to success will be first believing that we have the team to make a difference in the conference.

“After that, we need to work hard each day on our ball skills and game awareness, stay focused on our goals and lastly communicate with each other,” said the coach.

“When any team works together for a common goal and doesn’t worry who gets the recognition, they are on their way to success.”

Fischer expects a very competitive conference. Ozaukee is the defending CLC and D-3 state champion.

“The CLC is always a tough conference. There are a lot of strong programs and it looks to be a great season for soccer,” he said.

“Based on last year’s results I am guessing that Ozaukee, Oostburg and Cedar Grove-Belgium will be tough competition but we can never underestimate the other teams.”

Fischer mentioned his top goals for the season.

“Our No. 1 goal each year will be to be conference champions. We have an outstanding group of girls and if they work to their potential, they have the ability to obtain that goal. Our second goal is to win a regional title, followed by a sectional and state title,” he said.

“I am looking forward to my first year as the girls coach. I look forward to building on the success that coach Worth has established with the girls and hope to take it to the next level.”

April 8 – Sheboygan Christian, here
April 10 – Elkhart Lake, here
April 14 – @ Ozaukee
April 22 – @ Oostburg
April 24 – Cedar Grove, here
April 26 – @ Sheboygan South Invite
April 28 – @ Random Lake
May 1 – Sheb. Luth./Kohler, here
May 6 – @ Sheboygan Christian
May 10 – @ Kiel Invitational
May 12 – @ Elkhart Lake
May 15 – Ozaukee, here
May 20 – Oostburg, here
May 22 – @ Cedar Grove
May 29 – Random Lake, here
June 3 – Sheb. Luth./Kohler, @ SL
June 5 – Regional, TBA

Seniors – *Taylor Beninghaus (midfielder), *Krista Hackbarth (defender),
*Nicole Mugan (mid.), *Hayley Reinke
(mid.), *Bailey Schaller (def.) and *Allison Schmid (forward).
Juniors – *Morgan Edge (mid.),
and *Carlie Stauss (def.).
Sophomores – Rebecca Fry (mid.)
and *Zyta Mueller (def.).
Freshmen – Abi Albright (def.),
Kjersten Grinna (mid.), Katie Guse
(mid.), Morgan Joyner (mid.), Malayna
McDaniel (def.), Kaitlyn Near (mid.),
Melissa Oxtoby (def.), Ashley Reinemann (def.), Brittany Schaller (for.),
Emily Schmid (for.), Olivia Stauss
(goalkeeper), Morgan Wittman (mid.)
and Samantha Yancey (goal.).
* - Returning letter winner.

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