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Rebuilding year for EDSS girls’ soccer team

The EDSS girls’ soccer team is looking to end a winless streak that stretches back to last season.

Last year, the girls found themselves in the first division on the strength of their play in 2008, but missing a number of the players that had helped them get there. Injuries also took a toll on the team – sometimes they only had 11 players, and no substitutes – and they didn’t win a game all season.

 Emily Ahier carries the ball toward the Hawks’ net, under pressure from a Jacob Hespeler defender during game action Apr. 27.
Emily Ahier carries the ball toward the Hawks’ net, under pressure from a Jacob Hespeler defender during game action Apr. 27.

Now playing in the second division, the girls have lost their first three games of this season, but those contests have been much closer. They fell 3-1 to a talented Preston Heights team, 3-0 to Waterloo-Oxford, and 3-2 to Jacob Hespeler in a wind-blown match Tuesday.

“The wind just picked up the ball and took it way out of the field,” said coach Jennifer Amos-Harrison.
After dropping their first three matches, the girls had to win their game Thursday and all three games next week in order to advance into the postseason.

Amos-Harrison isn’t overly concerned with the score of the games; with a dozen Grade 9 players on the field, she was aware before the season started that this would be a rebuilding year.

And she’s happy with what she’s seeing from the new recruits. In the midfield, Krista Wiens and Madison Jones have established themselves as a presence on the field. Up front, Ashley Palmer is another Grade 9 student who’s made an impact.

The team is also counting on veterans like Emily Ahier and forwards Kailey Esbaugh and Larissa Stevens. In goal, Yi Wang plays a fearless, aggressive game. Vanessa Lachance, another key player, has unfortunately been sidelined by a hip injury.

After struggling with injuries last year, Amos-Harrison decided to take extra players this year and they have 21 names on the roster. Only two of those girls are graduating at the end of the season, which makes the coach optimistic about next year.

“We’ve given teams a run for their money, and next year and the year after that we’ll be extremely strong.”
Amos-Harrison has help on the sidelines from parent Dave Wang, who also coaches minor soccer. He coaches a number of talented players who will be starting at EDSS in the future, which is another reason to be optimistic.

“Unfortunately we haven’t won a game and people put a lot of weight behind winning, but they’ve done fabulously,” Amos-Harrison said. “I’m very proud of the girls and I feel very strongly they’ll do well in the future.”

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