Over the past two Flyway Conference seasons, scoring a goal against Winnebago Lutheran’s girls soccer team has been a near-impossible feat.
And beating the Vikings? Well, that takes the near out of ‘near-impossible.’
WLA will take a string of 20 straight Flyway Conference wins — a span where the Vikings have allowed a total of nine goals — into the 2013 campaign and head coach Greg Hoffman knows what his team will have to do in order to extend the streak.
“It’s going to take some real teamwork — a real team effort,” Hoffmann said. “We don’t have one or two girls to rely on, so we have to play well together and we have to stay healthy.
“We’re going to ask the younger girls to produce right away, but I think we have some real potential there.”
Although the Vikings were perfect in the Flyway last year and finished 16-4-3 overall, they did experience two key losses — both came in the form of graduating seniors.
Hoffman said the Vikings had two key holes to fill from last year’s squad in veteran sweeper Aimee Liebzeit and record-setting scorer Lexi Herriwig, last year’s Player of the Year in the Flyway Conference.
“We have those two key positions that are going to be very, very difficult to fill,” Hoffman said.
Danielle Hall and Cheyenne Grandaw will be two of the players that will be counted on to pick up some of the scoring load. Hall finished with 11 goals a season ago, which was second behind only Herriwig.
The Vikings also will rely on a talented and deep cast of midfielders to boost the offense.
“Not a lot of scoring from last year, but Danielle was probably the one that was most consistent for us,” Hoffman said. “We don’t have anybody right now that sticks out (offensively).”
Defensively, the Vikings will move Bethany Westphal to stopper to anchor the backline while Sarah Kell will likely into the sweeper role for the squad.
The Vikings also have an experienced goalkeeper in Abby Hilbert, however, Hilbert is likely to miss the start of the season as she gets healthy. In her place, Hailey Trapp — who has limited varsity experience — will start in goal.
“That’s always been one of our strong points — we’ve always had a strong defense,” Hoffman said. “This year, it’s a little bit different. We’re going in not knowing for sure, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be strong.
“I think we have some good athletic girls, it’s just a matter of finding the right combination back there on defense.”
Fond du Lac
With three players who returning who received all-conference mention last season, the Cardinals are looking to improve on last year’s 4-5 finish in the Fox Valley Association.
Shelby Sabel was a second-team all-FVA choice and will be likely be one of the top scoring threats for head coach Greg Winkler. Kelsey Schneider, Erica Daniels and Ashley Kleinmaus are also expected to play in a forward’s role this season.
Tina Konen and Samantha Greuel return to anchor the midfield, while honorable mention all-FVA selections Jenny Smit and Maddie Testerode will anchor the backline for the Cardinals.
Fond du Lac will have to overcome the loss of goalkeeper Brianna Wagner. Wagner, a second-team all-FVA selection, was injured during basketball season and won’t play this year.
Brianna Hubbard and Meg Mengert are expected compete for playing time in goal this season.
St. Mary’s Springs
With only two seniors on the roster, the Ledgers will be one of the youngest teams in the Flyway Conference. But it will also be one of its more experienced squads.
Bolstered by a pack of returning juniors, Springs is again taking aim at a top spot in the Flyway Conference, where the squad finished third last year at 7-3.
Senior Carly Meyer will enter her fourth year starting in goal for Springs and will anchor the defense along with field players Taryn Immel and Erin Forsyth. All three were honorable mention all-Flyway selections last season.
Molly Krueger also received all-conference honors as a midfielder last year, and will play there along with Lizzy Nelson. Shannon Ahern and Anna Huck will be key forward players for the Ledgers this season.
Led by returning first-team all-conference selection Chelsey Turk, the Cardinals are looking to climb up a few rungs on the Flyway Conference ladder.
Turk is the top returning goal-scorer in the conference and will be joined up by fellow senior Bridget Schuessler.
Head coach Dale Amundson believes the team’s strength will lie in the midfield, where junior Ashley Struck, an honorable-mention all-Flyway performer, and senior Emily Johnson return.
In the backline, senior all-conference honoree Addy Amundson will lead the way along with Hailey Hoepner.
Madi Churchill takes over in goal this season for the Cardinals, who finished 8-16 overall and 4-6 in the Flyway last season.
North Fond du Lac/Oakfield
The two schools will co-op in girls soccer for the first time this season and should be able to field a very talented squad for head coach Donovan Heavener.
The squad will return a pair of second-team all-Flyway Conference forwards in senior Brittany Parker and sophomore Reilly Louko, while junior forward Brooke Rymer earned honorable mention honors.
Senior Val McClyman will bring experience to the team’s midfield, which should also get a boost from newcomer Morgan Schaefer.
North Fond du Lac/Oakfield also sports a talented goalkeeper in senior Emily Romuald.
The Cougars sport the reigning Player of the Year in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference in senior Paige Birschbach and should have plenty of help around her.
Birschbach put in 32 goals last season and has topped the 30-goal mark in each of her three varsity seasons.
On the other end of the field, junior Emma Sippel earned honorable mention all-EWC honors in goal and will help anchor the defense.
Head coach Tim Scannell will also look to senior Theresa Flood, junior Landon Donigain and sophomore Brooke Birschbach to play key roles for Campbellsport, which finished third in the EWC last season with a 9-5 mark.
The Warriors enter the season with just three seniors on the roster and are coming off a year where they posted just a pair of league wins.
Waupun does feature sophomore goalkeeper Jenna Hilt, who faced a wealth of shots last year and held her own in goal.
Yevette Garcia also returns to a forward position to help the offense, while head coach Steve Wilcox will also be counting on Katie and Brianna Tjepkema and Rachel Perry for contributions.
The Lions will have to replace first-team all-conference selection Allison Neitzel from last year’s squad that finished 5-4-1 in the Flyway Conference and 15-9-2 overall.
No other information was available on the team.
The Crusaders finished without a win last season and scored just three goals in 17 games.
No other information was available on the team.