Blaine’s girls’ soccer head coach Dan Steelquist doesn’t lament the loss of his top seniors as his Borderites enter the 2011 season. This year, he sees the possibility of goals from a variety of players.
“This team is well balanced as a group,” Steelquist said. “They work very well together, and everyone appears to be pulling in the same direction. We have 30 girls out, and their experience ranges from brand new to the game to 13 years.”
Gone is Samantha Nault, the first team all-Northwest Conference striker and the Borderites’ top scorer, along with second team all-conference center back Bethany Dahl.
As Blaine prepares for games against conference favorites Sehome and Mount Vernon, they will step into the proverbial role of David against the Goliaths of the Northwest Conference.
“Physically, we will be at a disadvantage to other schools just based on experience and perhaps size,” Steelquist said.
Steelquist is looking to returning senior Lindsey Freeman to step up as a team leader. Speed comes from track stars Olivia Olason and Hope Wilkett. Liz Berry is also returning, while aggressive Nicole Statham will provide a tough, physical presence. Top newcomers expected to contribute are Jessica Belding and Emily Roe.
Steelquist is optimistic about the composition of his Borderite team.
“I think we have resilience and a strong desire to stick together. I have an awesome group of hard-working girls out there.”