THS girls soccer features veteran lineup

Chieftains open today at Ward

Aly Bartholomew and the Tonganoxie High girls soccer team will open the season today at Bishop Ward. Enlarge photo

March 26, 2014

2014 soccer schedule

March 26, at Bishop Ward

March 31, at Bonner Springs

April 3, at Spring Hill

April 4, at Lansing

April 7, vs. Mill Valley

April 10, at De Soto

April 14, at Piper

April 15, vs. Bishop Ward

April 18, vs. Leavenworth

April 21, at Baldwin

April 23, vs. KC Christian

May 1, at Heritage Christian

May 2, vs. Baldwin

May 5, vs. Washington

May 8, at Ottawa

May 13, vs. Basehor-Linwood

In the last two seasons, the Tonganoxie High girls soccer team elevated its game to unprecedented levels. With a slew of upperclassmen back this spring, further success is will no longer be a pleasant surprise within the program.

With several regular starters back in 2014 — two of them two-time All-State selections — the Chieftains plan to build on their back-to-back regional championships and a 9-8 record in 2013 — the first winning season in the history of the program.

This time around, though, they want more than another regional trophy.

"That's not the goal any more," senior Madison Simmons said. "The goal is to get further than that. It was just another stepping stone."

Senior forward Emily Soetaert returns after earning an All-State first-team nod as a junior. She led the team with 14 goals and 11 assists last year. Fellow senior Taylar Morgan added seven goals a year ago. Junior Morgan Galvin is also back after scoring four times in 2013.

The Chieftains are without 2013 grad Molly Welsh, an All-Kaw Valley League honorable mention who tallied 10 goals last spring, but Seever expects freshman Joanna Filbert to fill that void up front this season.

"We've got some really hungry freshmen," he said. "They've already kind of surprised me. We could be led by our freshmen goal-wise. Soetaert is going to do her things and get her numbers, but with her being healthy from the get-go and having some aggressive freshmen around her, I think we're going to have more high-scoring games than we're used to."

Seever said freshman Savannah Reynolds is also likely to start as a defender, and there are several others who could vie for varsity time this season.

Simmons and sophomore Mackenzie Price return after starting as midfielders all last season. The duo combined for 15 goals a year ago. Junior Sophia Breedlove and sophomore Shannon Olson also saw time in the middle last year.

Senior Aly Bartholomew returns to the backfield after earning her second consecutive All-State second team selection last season. She'll be joined by fellow defender Megan Briggs, but Seever must replace a pair of defensive contributors in former seniors Kelsi Briggs and Christopher Tiner.

Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Jackson returns after allowing one or no goals in five games last season. She was at her best late, as the Chieftains gave up just 1.8 goals per game in their final eight contests.

THS will open its 2014 campaign at 4:30 p.m. today at Bishop Ward — a team it defeated twice last season. Most of the Chieftains' wins in the last two seasons came later in the year, but this year's squad is determined to make some more noise out of the gate.

"I think, since we've been here, we want it more," Bartholomew said. "We're taking it a lot more serious in the fact that we know how it works. Hopefully, we can motivate the rest of the team to do that way earlier than it did last year."

The junior varsity game will begin immediately following the varsity contest. The Chieftains will open with four straight home games before hosting Mill Valley in their home opener on April 7.

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