Outside of some key losses to graduation last season, Archbold girls soccer remains confident heading into the 2018 campaign.
“Although we lost a very talented senior class from last year, I anticipate that we will have a very strong season this year again,” said head coach James Kidder.
The Bluestreaks return six starters from last year’s squad that finished 20-1.
“We have lots of experience on the field again this year and we have added a very large freshmen class. We expect to have significant contributions from numerous players all season long,” noted Kidder.
Returning starters are Chloe Nofziger (second team All-NWOAL), Madison Gigax, Dakota Stamm, Grace Mayer (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Lily Krieger (honorable mention All-NWOAL) and Andi Peterson (second team All-NWOAL, all-district). They also get back Kate Short, Faith Wyse, Regan Ramirez, Macy Peterson, Brittany Ramirez, Delaney Garrow, Montana Stamm and Mikayla Welch.
However, the Streaks will have to replace Brooke Kohler (NWOAL POY, first team all-district, second team all-state), Kamryn Hostetler (first team All-NWOAL, second team all-district), Emie Peterson (first team All-NWOAL, first team all-district, first team all-state), Giulia Lee and Leah Hall.
Their schedule the first month of the season will likely be a good indicator of how the Streaks will fare this season.
“We start our season off with one of our toughest matchups of the year in Kalida,” said Kidder. “And move to another very strong team, likely to be our toughest competition all year, that beat us in the regional championship last year, Liberty Benton (on Sept. 10). I expect them to be a contender again at the regional level.”
Kidder is also expecting tough competition from teams in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.
“The NWOAL will surely be a strong league this year,” he said. “We anticipate great games with all league teams and any team will have to play great soccer to win league matches.”
The Streaks know a target is on their backs after winning an outright league title a season ago.
“Evergreen has made great strides in building a strong program and they have a nice feeder program in their community as well as Pacesetter Soccer Club. Swanton will continue to be strong team and I would imagine this will be a great soccer game, just like every other year. I expect the young players from last year at Liberty Center to make a big impact this year. Bryan and Delta always have strong teams as well,” said Kidder on the challenges the other league teams pose.
“There isn’t one team that can be taken for granted this year,” he added.
Archbold begins the season Saturday, Aug. 18 at home versus Kalida. Game time is 2 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010