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SOCCER PREVIEW: Berries looking for a stronger start in 2012
August 13, 2012North Central Conference
by Beau Wicker
Pharos-TribuneLogansport girls soccer coach Todd Reiff is looking for his squad to pick up where it left off a year ago.
The Berries return nine starters from a group that finished strong in sectional play, when they turned lopsided losses to Kokomo and Marion in the regular season to a 2-0 win over Kokomo in the semifinal and a 1-0 loss to Marion in the final.
“I felt like we ended very, very well, and we’ve done a nice job of carrying over from that point,” Reiff said. “I’m pretty encouraged. I think the girls have worked really hard. We had some pretty high expectations for them coming into the season. They had a series of goals that they had to accomplish, and they met those goals pretty well from a skills standpoint and a fitness level.”
The Berries changed their defensive alignment to a 4-2-3-1 for tournament time last year and the move worked wonders. The only goal allowed in the sectional was an early goal in the first three minutes of the Marion game that ended up sinking the Berries, who finished 7-11.
Reiff said the Berries will start with the defensive alignment they finished with a year ago.
“It did work for us. I’m not stuck on any one formation, I just want our girls to be successful,” he said. “We’re probably going to at least start out that way until we see what happens. So far we’re encouraged by it. I think we have the personnel to play it well.
“Our defense is basically all back.”
The Logan coach said the squad has two good goalkeepers in seniors Elaine Evanich and Elli Buchanan.
Rachel Jennings is a four-year starter at defensive stopper, and she’ll be joined in the defensive midfield by junior Bailey Graham.
Other starting defenders include seniors Madyson Price, Katie Griffith, Alyssa Reichel and junior Haley Riemenschneider.
Junior center mid Whitney Jennings returns, and Reiff expects that she will score a lot of goals this season. The strikers are senior Seanna Redman, the team’s leading scorer a year ago, and Ashley Spear, who was the JV’s leading scorer a year ago.
“Her speed’s a real strong point,” Reiff said of Spear.
Junior Mallory Rowe has been moved from defender to midfield this season to better utilize her strengths.
“She has a really good left foot,” Reiff said.
Logan is hosting the sectional this year, which the Berry coach hopes will be an advantage.
“We definitely want to win sectional and be very competitive in the conference, which I think we can be,” he said.
Logan opens its season on Tuesday at home against Frankfort