Panthers have eye on another ECC title

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


SYDNEY ROBINSON (5), Plymouth forward in action versus Seymour in sectional soccer semifinal action last year, will be a key player in the Panthers’ attack this season. She led PHS in goals last season with 31. – Review file photo SYDNEY ROBINSON (5), Plymouth forward in action versus Seymour in sectional soccer semifinal action last year, will be a key player in the Panthers’ attack this season. She led PHS in goals last season with 31. – Review file photo PLYMOUTH – Bolstered by a strong returning nucleus, the Plymouth girls soccer team has high expectations this season.

The Panthers have 11 letter winners (all seniors) back, including six full-time starters, from last year’s squad which was the co-East Central Conference champion for the second straight season. PHS was a Division 3 sectional finalist and chalked up an 18-4-2 overall record.

Panther head coach Brad Feick has a positive outlook on the season and expects his team to contend for the ECC title.

“We expect to improve in every game and practice. It starts with each game and practice but our goal is to work towards a conference title and successful playoff run,” said Feick who enters his seventh season as the PHS head coach.

The Panthers shared the 2017 ECC title with Winneconne at 13-1. The Wolves defeated PHS in a sectional final, 5-1, to advance to the state tournament. Winneconne placed second at state.

PHS has three All-ECC first-team players back from last season – senior forward Sydney Robinson, senior defender Savannah Wiese and senior goalkeeper Sam Meyer. Meyer was the Panthers’ Most Valuable Player last season when she made 40 saves and surrendered only four goals in league play.

Robinson, also an All- ECC pick as a sophomore, led PHS in goals last season with an impressive 31. Senior midfielder Ellie Welsch, who was All-ECC honorable mention in 2017, and Robinson tied for the assist lead with 11 each.

The full-time starters back are Robinson, Meyer, Wiese, Welsch, senior defender/midfielder Sarah Morris and senior midfielder/forward Jayda Martell.

Feick has been impressed with the varsity newcomers.

“Hanna Aukerman defends well, Katie Pocian has good touch, Anna Kitzerow can play multiple positions, Dallas Kriesa is tough, Emma Welsch creates dangerous opportunities, Maggie Munson never tires challenging to win possession and Carley Reil plays well with both feet,” he pointed out.

“We have a lot of players who can play multiple positions. That flexibility gives us a lot of options on the field.”

Feick pointed out the team’s strengths:

“Experience with 11 returning seniors and 13 seniors overall. This group knows one another very well. They have been playing together for a long time.”

The coach mentioned areas the team needs to improve.

“Even with all of our experience, there are still plenty of unknowns. We need to strengthen our midfield, work on possession, and become more aggressive and efficient in finishing. Those are areas that we’ll improve as the year goes on,” said Feick.

He said the keys for the team to have success are to work hard and enjoy the game.

“I look forward to working with this group of athletes. They work hard and know that success requires work,” said Feick.

Feick looks at Winneconne as the top team in the ECC race coming into the season as the Wolves return many players from last year.

“We absolutely plan to contend for the conference. We are two-time defending conference champions. Each game is important if we want to compete and win a title. We have to take care of everybody,” he said.

“I think that it’ll be an interesting battle to see who finishes in the top four to set up the second half of the ECC schedule with Winneconne, us, Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson), Waupun and Campbellsport probably fighting for four spots.”


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