Panthers looking to compete for ECC title

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


OLIVIA JANKOWSKI tries to dribble past Sarah Morris during a shooting drill at the Plymouth Panthers’ soccer practice Tuesday afternoon. Looking on is Hailey Stewart. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley OLIVIA JANKOWSKI tries to dribble past Sarah Morris during a shooting drill at the Plymouth Panthers’ soccer practice Tuesday afternoon. Looking on is Hailey Stewart. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – A veteran Plymouth girls soccer team looks to compete for the East Central Conference championship this season.

The Panthers return 12 letter winners from last year, including four players who earned All-Eastern Wisconsin Conference honors. Eleven of the letter winners started at least one game last season.

PHS moved into the new ECC this year. The Panthers finished 8-9-4 overall last season and placed third in the EWC with a 7-2-3 record.

“As a coach, I always have high expectations for our team, especially with the amount of players returning this season. Those expectations are that we will work hard throughout every practice and game in order to continue to get better,” said PHS head coach Brad Feick who enters his fifth season at the helm.

The players who were All-EWC include junior midfielder-defender Kaylee Koening (first- team midfielder), senior defender-midfielder Olivia Jankowski (second-team forward the past two years), junior forward Kalei Hering (honorable mention) and junior midfielder Emily Majerus (honorable mention). Jankowski and Hering led PHS in goals last year with 11 each.

“I think that we should be competing for a conference title. Right now I would place Kettle Moraine Lutheran [Jackson] and Winneconne at or near the top of the conference,” said Feick.

“The depth within the conference should make every game challenging. Campbellsport is always tough. Kewaskum has a talented senior midfielder [Jeray Riffel, All-EWC first-team pick in 2015]. Waupun took a big step forward last season.”

Feick pointed out the team’s strengths.

“This is a team filled with players who want to continue to develop as a team. Our defensive back line, experience and possession should be strengths.

“Our roster is also pretty flexible. A lot of players can play multiple positions.

“We have a nice blend of experience and youth. Fourteen players have logged varsity minutes. Our defensive back four, nearly our entire midfield and our forwards are all back.”

The coach has been impressed with all of the varsity newcomers

– senior Nuria Cerera, juniors Kersten Dewey and Hailey Stewart and sophomores Ellie Welsch, Lexi Lautenschlaeger, Sam Meyer and Sarah Morris.

“This group is highly coachable and brings something unique to the team,” said Feick.

Feick expects improvement on offense over last year.

“Offensively I think that we have players that will be able to finish [on shots]. We want everyone working to hold possession, moving the ball into scoring opportunities and finishing the play. I do think that we will be stronger offensively than we were last season,” he said.

Feick said his top goals are to improve every practice and every game, win the ECC title and set the Panthers up for a strong playoff run.

The Panthers lost in the first round of Division 2 regional play last year to Marinette, 1-0.

The coach noted the keys for the team to have success.

“This goes back to our goals. If we focus on constant improvement, good outcomes will happen. We also need to stay healthy and close out tough games,” he said.


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