Sports

Lakewood girls soccer looking for encore trip to state tournament

Lakewood’s Kennedy Bonnallie tries to avoid a defender during practice Aug. 26. - Adam Rudnick
Lakewood’s Kennedy Bonnallie tries to avoid a defender during practice Aug. 26.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

LAKEWOOD — Despite an inspiring finish to the 2009 season, the Cougars feel as if there is unfinished business.

And that may be true for a team that is still considered young, graduating just two seniors from last season.

But most importantly, last year’s defense will remain completely intact.

“Last year, we wanted to anchor our defense first and move forward from there, and that’s where we’re at again this year,” said Lakewood coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth.

The key returners start with keeper Miranda Head, who earned second team, all Cascade Conference honors last year as she set school records in total saves in both a game and a season.

“She is the most talented keeper in the league,” said Wohlgemuth. “Her athleticism, instincts and eye for the ball give us a chance every game.”

Lakewood played in seven matches decided by shootout in 2009 and coming away with five such wins.

Working with Head on defense will be Kennedy Bonnallie, Jessica Pauley, Kiley Brown and Taylor Studzinski, who finished the 2009 regular season allowing just 10 goals in 16 games — a school record.

The Cougars finished last season earning Lakewood’s first state playoff berth in school history, and getting the program’s first state win in a 2-1 victory over Klahowya. Not bad for a team that played all of its district and state playoff games with just one available sub, as seven players were suspended for breaking team rules.

But Wohlgemuth said losing those players for that time has only made his squad stronger.

“Many of those girls are back and we have re-established a bond with the players that finished the season,” he said. “And there were some girls that upped their stock when given the opportunity to play 80 minutes.”

One such player was Abby Burke, who demonstrated poise beyond her years, scoring a pair of game-winning goals in the playoffs.

As far as the Cascade Conference goes, the Cougars are bound to butt heads with defending state champion Archbishop Murphy, despite graduating a handful of Division I recruits.

“Archbishop is going to be a solid squad,” Wohlgemuth said. “They lost a few players, but they always seem to reload. And Cedarcrest lost a few seniors, but was also very young.”

Wohlgemuth also said that Granite Falls was a sleeper team.

Lakewood’s first match is away against Burlington-Edison Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.

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