The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

By Sean C. Morgan
Of The New Era 

Girls soccer starts with record numbers, high hopes


September 7, 2011

Girls soccer varsity team members include, in front, from left, Rachel Jones, Megan O’Donnell, Jasmin Yoder and Brittnay Espinosa. In the second row, from left, are Hailey Hummer, Demi Stratman, Courtney Kent, Kristen Tolle, Haley Kent, Katie Virtue and Christina Ulmer. In the rear, from left, are Coach Ramiro Santana, Rosanna Sullivan, Megan Rubidoux, Hanna Currey, Ami Olmsted, Jessika Stewart, Sabrina Davis and Assistant Coach Randy Stewart.

Coach Ramiro Santana has about the best problem he could hope for this year as girls soccer gets under way.

He has a full roster at the varsity and junior varsity level, which means, with more than enough talented seniors and juniors to round out the varsity roster, he’s got even more sophomores who have had varsity experience.

With 32 girls, his team has depth it has never fielded before, and these are players with experience. The Huskies will bring 11 seniors and five juniors to the field.

“It’s a big senior class,” Santana said. He has eight returning seniors with three new ones including a transfer from Lebanon High School, Rachel Jones.

Returning seniors include Kristen Tolle, Megan Rubidoux, Jessika Stewart, Jasmin Yoder, Christina Ulmer, Rylee Links, Hanna Currey and Brittnay Esstinosa. Seniors joining this year also include Ami Olmsted and Rosanna Sullivan.

Returning juniors include Sabrina Davis, Hailey Hummer, Meghan O’Donnell and Alana Long. Demi Stratman is a newcomer and will swing between varsity and junior varsity.

Santana also will tap sophomore Katie Virtue for the varsity, and sophomore twins Hailey and Courtney Kent will swing.

Having so many older girls means that some of the younger girls will not be able to play varsity or as much varsity as they did, Santana said, but they will get more time on the field and gain more valuable experience with a full junior varsity squad.

“We’ve got talent,” Santana said. “We’ve got a great group of girls. This is pretty cool to see. It’s just amazing. I’ve got four excellent freshman players and 11 sophomores. With the 11, if they stay playing the next couple of years, that’s a heck of a team.”

The upper class is great too, Santana said. While the defense must be refilled, the team is full of quick attackers who can drop back into a defensive role.

He expects to have players moving around the field, playing everywhere in any position, Santana said. Rubidoux and Jones will bring a fast two-pronged attack, but at times one may be back on defense, ready to turn the game from defense to offense with a score at the end of the play. Stewart will play center forward, bolstered at times by the quick Virtue, Yoder and Kent twins.

The team may swap defense and offense during the game depending on what the other team is doing and how it is configured.

Even the goalies will swap. Tolle and Davis will cover that spot this year.

The team’s conditioning is better than ever, he said, and the deep bench will help keep the team fresh.

Santana wants to see a more offensive game,” he said. “I don’t want to sit. I want to be going out and do a lot of scoring.”

The team will play more aggressively, with an offense based on speed and quick passes, rooted in the defense.

Last year, the Huskies won a game in league playoffs and then lost in the next game at state playoffs.

“Our goal is to at least get somewhere in the playoffs and see if we can get further than we’ve gotten,” Santana said. “It looks good, and we’ll see how we get there.”

The loss of four seniors – Shelby Gillespie, Kaitlin Keenon, Rylee Cole and Jazmine Morris – on defense, to graduation, is about the only question mark.

“It is exciting,” Santana said. “My mind is going nuts. We can’t wait to get to the game.”

The junior varsity roster includes the Kent twins, Stratman and sophomores Auna Davis, twins Katy and Natalie Currey, Crystal Hernandez, Jesse Hoover, Mikaela Steiner, Kara Clement, Mercedes Patricio and Lacey Carranza and freshmen Caroline Huss, Cassie Coulter, Aspen Szubart and Lily Barton.

Members of the girls junior varsity soccer team include, in front, Natalie Currey. In second row, from left, are Cassidy Coulter, Katy Currey and Jesse Hoover. In third row, from left, are Lily Barton, Demi Stratman, Courtney Kent, Haley Kent, Auna Davis, Kara Clement and Aspen Szubart. In rear, from left, are Head Coach Ramiro Santana, Mickaela Steiner, Lacey Carranza, Caroline Huss, Mercedez Patricio and Assistant Coach Randy Stewart..

The lineup is subject to change, Santana said, as he expects new players to join the team this week.

A junior varsity coach has not been selected, so Santana is pulling double duty. Randy Stewart and Lela Danforth will assist him this week as the Huskies are opening the season against Stayton at home Tuesday, Sept. 6.

“Come watch us play and cheer on the girls,” Santana said.


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