By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield girls soccer team went through a rough season in 2016. However, a big playoff win at the end of the year has an experienced group of Tigers hopeful this season will be better.
Marshfield finished 6-17-1 last season and was just 1-10-1 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, but a victory at Ashwaubenon in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal and a hard-fought 3-1 loss to Rhinelander in the regional final have given this year’s team positive momentum.
Senior Maddie Haessly, who had 10 goals and three assists last year; sophomore Nicole Simon, one goal and one assist in 2016; and eight others that saw a lot playing time a year ago return for the Tigers.
“With 10 players back who saw significant playing time on varsity and three others who have spent some time on varsity, we are excited for the season,” said Marshfield coach Steve Lindner, who is entering his seventh season as the head coach. “We have high expectations as this team really bring continuity and experience. These ladies really finished strong last season, bought into the system, and played well together.”
Co-captains Emily Critelli at sweeper and Maureen Cassidy at midfield, both seniors, are also back along with senior midfielders Ciera Neufeld and Liz Holbrook, junior midfielder Kendra Tremelling, junior defenders Makenna Hart and Mickala Brown, senior defender Gracia Sandock, and senior goalie Andrea Carolfi.
Junior midfielder Sophie Koehn also returns. After a productive freshman season, Koehn was sidelined with a knee injury a year ago but is back healthy to help out the Tigers.
New to the team is senior exchange student Inga Berg, who is expected to see time as a sweeper and outside player. Freshmen Anna Paape, Cassidy Kolstad, Nina Hashimoto, and Madie Swanson and senior McKensey Koran will vie for playing time as well.
Wendy Rodriguez and Carolfi, Marshfield High School’s all-time career leader in shutouts with 12, will split time at goalie.
“We have far more depth then we have had since I have been associated with the program,” Lindner said. “We return players from each line and two goalies that have seen time in net. Overall, the numbers are the greatest we have seen with 43 girls out. With 10 seniors we should have strong leadership this season.”
Marshfield’s opener Tuesday at home against Tomah was postponed, and the Tigers are scheduled to travel to Urbana, Illinois, for games on Friday and Saturday. The Tigers begin Wisconsin Valley Conference play April 13 at Stevens Point.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.