Young PHS team has high expectations

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


OLIVIA JANKOWSKI (right), junior forward, is one of the returning starters for the Plymouth soccer team. Jankowski, shown battling for the ball against Sheboygan Falls’ Erin Beeck last season, was an All-EWC secondteam pick last year. – Review file photo OLIVIA JANKOWSKI (right), junior forward, is one of the returning starters for the Plymouth soccer team. Jankowski, shown battling for the ball against Sheboygan Falls’ Erin Beeck last season, was an All-EWC secondteam pick last year. – Review file photo PLYMOUTH – A young, talented Plymouth girls soccer team has the potential for a special 2015 season.

The Panthers, under fourthyear head coach Brad Feick, will be shooting to successfully defend their Eastern Wisconsin Conference championship. PHS lost nine seniors off last year’s squad (four who were on the All-EWC first team) which also won a Division 3 regional crown but return eight letter winners, including five starters.

The Panthers have a promising crop of nine sophomores to bolster their 19-player roster. PHS finished 10-0-2 in the EWC and 15-7-3 overall last season.

“I am excited for this season to begin. The girls have put in plenty of time playing in the off-season and staying active in multiple sports,” said Feick.

“They are a coachable group and are excited to work to make a name for themselves. They understand that it takes hard work in order to achieve success.”

The group of returning starters is led by junior forward Olivia Jankowski who earned All-EWC second-team honors last year. Jankowski paced the Panthers in goals with 12 and points, 30 (two points per goal and one per assist), as she also contributed six assists.

The other starters back are senior midfielder Hannah Mauk, senior defender Julianna Georg, junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Bolland and sophomore midfielder Kaylee Koenig. The remaining returning letter winners are senior defender Emily Meinnert, junior midfielder Lizzy Francis and sophomore forward Kalei Hering.

“With this young team, I expect seniors Emily Meinnert, Hannah Mauk, Julianna Georg, and Maggie Chandler to help lead either vocally or by example,” said Feick.

“Other second-year varsity players – Olivia Jankowski, Elizabeth Bolland and Kaylee Koenig – will also lead within the team and at their respective positions.”

Feick pointed out the team’s strengths.

“I think that our strengths probably start with our goalkeeper Elizabeth Bolland. She is returning from a strong sophomore season in which she shared time [with Sophie Hau who graduated] and only gave up one goal in conference. Her leadership from the back will be counted on to help shape a young defense,” said the coach.

“In addition to keeper, this group is very coachable and driven. They want to get better. From our sophomores to our seniors, each one understands the amount of work that it entails to be good.”

Being such a young team, Feick said he needs to figure out who the top defenders, midfielders and forwards are.

“With inexperience come mistakes. We will learn from those mistakes though. However, with youth and inexperience also comes a sense of hunger to prove something – that’s something that this group seems to have,” said Feick.

He like the flexibility the roster shows.

Most, if not all, of our varsity players can play multiple positions, giving us a flexible team when it comes to lineups,” Feick observed.

“Olivia can play any of the forward and midfield positions and Kaylee can play any defensive or midfield position. Even Elizabeth, our goalie, is a dangerous midfielder and forward.

”Lizzy can defend or play outside midfield and Kalei can play forward as well as be a dangerous, offensiveminded, outside midfielder, and the list could continue.”

The coach commented on each of the varsity newcomers and what they bring to the table.

“We have a lot of new faces and each one brings something to the team. I’m excited to see how each player discovers a role within the team to make it better,” said Feick.

“Maggie Chandler is the consummate teammate and understands the game. Danielle Roelse and Skyler Gosse bring physical toughness.

“Brooklin Willoughby utilizes her speed, Carlee Olsen has a great shot and Emily Majerus, great vision. Brooke Frederickson, Kaitlyn Heyrman, Mathilde Marken-Smenes and Brooke Toutloff control the ball well, and Taylor Heyrman [contributes] goal keeping.”

Feick expects a battle for first place in the EWC.

“New Holstein, returning from a berth in the state championship game, and Sheboygan Falls, who seems to be tough year in and year out, will be competing along with us for the top spot in the EWC,” said Feick.

“Kewaskum will be a dark horse. They have a few very dangerous players. Campbellsport and Kiel are consistently tough. It will be another exciting year.”

New Holstein is the defending D-4 state runner-up.

“Our goals are a conference title and a strong playoff run, hopefully culminating in a state championship. In order to accomplish any of those goals, we are simply focusing on each practice and game as they come and looking to peak in June,” said Feick.

“I think as the season goes on and as players begin to become confident and comfortable with one another, great things could happen,” he said.


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