Girls soccer team aims for steady improvement
ALPENA — A return to the soccer field for the Alpena High girls soccer team brings a lot of change with it.
While it’s a relief to be back on the field, the Wildcats are in a bit of a rebuild with just three returners and five graduated players who all moved on to play college soccer.
“I’m always going to feel bad for (last year’s) group of senior athletes, including my group of soccer girls. They never got a chance to build on the success they had,” Alpena coach Tim Storch said. “It’s been a feeling-out process early in the season and we’re definitely in a rebuild mode, just because of sheer numbers.”
Nonetheless, the Wildcats are ready to test themselves, especially in Big North Conference play. Last season Alpena was thought to be a favorite to win the league, but this season, the Wildcats are still wondering where they might fit into the mix.
Though they’re only two games into the season, the Wildcats haven’t played with their full team on the field yet.
Offensively, Storch is excited about Alpena’s potential. After Alpena managed just one goal in a season-opening loss to Cheboygan, it came alive Wednesday, topping Oscoda 8-0. Anna Woods had three goals in the rout and Reese Wisniewski had two goals and a pair of assists.
The pairing of Woods and Wisniewski has been a good one so far for the Wildcats and Storch hopes Alpena has even more of a scoring punch once Kami Schultz returns to the lineup.
Senior returners Addison Marceau and Jenna Leeck will be two key cogs in Alpena’s defense along with senior Alexis Jones. In net, Alayna Trelfa and Brianna Boyk will split time.
Alpena opened conference play on Thursday at Petoskey and will be tested often over the next few weeks with games against Cadillac, Gaylord, Traverse City Central and Traverse City West on tap.
“(On Wednesday) we represented ourselves well, but we’ll get a better feel for where we’re at tonight and next week when we play Gaylord and Cadillac,” Storch said on Thursday afternoon.