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Senior trio leads Central Kitsap girls soccer into 2010
Don’t question Marissa Byron’s motivation.
Not after the Central Kitsap High School senior was sidelined for much of the 2009 soccer season with a back injury, forced into a spectator role.
“It makes me want to go out and show people how I can really play,” said Byron, who is healthy now and will anchor the Lady Cougars’ defense along with fellow senior Taylor Gillespie.
Byron isn’t the only one who is eager to take the field for the season opener against Olympic High School Sept. 7 at Silverdale Stadium. The entire team is.
Last season, Central Kitsap saw its season end with a 2-1 loss against Olympia High School in a loser-out, winner-to-districts match in the Narrows League Tournament. In 2008, the team also was eliminated one game shy of districts, losing a league tournament game on penalty kicks to Gig Harbor High School.
“They’ve just been really close, tough losses,” said coach Vicky Webb. “We’re hoping this is the year we break through.”
Webb believes the team will vie for one of the top positions in the Narrows League, despite the fact it plays a difficult schedule against traditional powers Gig Harbor, Olympia, South Kitsap High School and Bellarmine Preparatory School twice apiece.
In addition to Byron and Gillespie, the team’s success may rest in the play of senior Kirsten Anthony.
Anthony has verbally committed to play next season at Southern Utah University. She will assume the central midfield position this year for Central Kitsap, replacing former star Hannah Anderson, who last season led the team in goals and assists and now plays at Oregon State University.
If Anthony learned one thing last season, it’s that neither she nor the team can overlook any opponent.
“Every game, we need to come fast and we can’t underestimate anybody,” she said.
Central Kitsap’s weakness last season was scoring.
Webb said that often times the team relied on Anderson to carry the load offensively, so this season, she hopes to see a more balanced attack. She had yet to finalize her starting forwards as of Monday.
And experience won’t be the issue — there are nine seniors listed on the preseason roster.
“We have a lot of players who know how to find the back of the net,” Webb said. “It’s just a matter of doing it.”
Sept. 7 at Olympic 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 Bainbridge 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Olympia 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 South Kitsap 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Mt. Tahoma 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 Shelton 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Gig Harbor 6:45 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Bellarmine 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 Stadium 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 Olympia 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 at South Kitsap 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 Mount Tahoma 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Shelton 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 Gig Harbor 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 Bellarmine 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Stadium 7:15 p.m.