Douglas girls soccer reloads for new season
Never mind that the Douglas High girls soccer team lost nine starters from its 2014 Northern Division I championship roster. The Tigers have reloaded and are once again headed into their new season with some high aspirations.
At the same time, coach Werner Christen is completely aware of the challenge that awaits.
“I think the kids realize what the situation is as far as losing nine starters,” said Christen, who entering his second season as the program’s head coach. “We’ve got a nice mix of young and old (players). We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think it’s going to be fun getting there.”
The Tigers kick off their season Friday with a formidable test against Montgomery (Santa Rosa, Calif.) on neutral turf in South Lake Tahoe. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start at South Tahoe Middle School.
The Montgomery Vikings are currently ranked No. 9 nationally by TopDrawerSoccer.com and coming off a 21-4 season in 2014 that ended with a runner-up finish in the CIF North Coast Section Tournament. Douglas was 24-1 in 2014, with 24 consecutive victories before losing to Arbor View in the state tournament semifinals.
This game will showcase two of the top players from their respective states: Douglas senior forward McKenna Kynett and Montgomery senior midfielder Taylor Ziemer.
Kynett, a two-time Sierra League Offensive Player of the Year, has 88 career goals and 46 assists while helping Douglas compile a 55-7-2 record over the last three seasons.
Ziemer, who was honored as Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year last fall in California and has verbally committed to the University of Virginia. Jordan Girman also earned all-state recognition as a defender last year.
Montgomery also plays defending state 1A champion South Tahoe on Saturday.
Douglas also returns Alissa Holley, a first-team all-league midfielder in 2014 and second-team forward in 2013.
Carly Johnson also returns as a two-time honorable mention all-league defender.
Jessica Withrow and Caitlin Bidart also saw considerable playing time last season, while Payson Coverley also gained experience in the field. Grace Brooks, a third-year varsity veteran, and freshman Jordan Smith are listed as the goalkeepers.
“We’ve got a target on our back,” Christen said. “We beat everybody (in Northern Nevada) last year until we went to Las Vegas, so trust me, we’re everybody’s biggest game. We’re going to be everybody’s biggest game this year so that’s going to be a lot of fun for these kids.”