ERHS soccer full of ‘quality players’

Second-year coach has high hopes


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Eagle River’s Jackie Klecka (13) tries to get past Chugiak’s Holly Brehmer during the teams’ 1-1 tie on April 26, 2011 at Tom Huffer Stadium. Kleckan and Brehmer are both key returning players for this year’s soccer squads, which began their 2012 season on Tuesday, March 20.

STAR FILE PHOTO/MATT TUNSETH

Though Eagle River High is fielding just one girls soccer team, it has a high caliber of players, second-year head coach Lauren Mason said.

“We had a lot of girls who know how to play soccer come out,” she said. “Low numbers of quality players.”

A majority of the team’s 16 players are returning starters, Mason said.

“I feel pretty confident with this team,” she said. “Technically I think we’ve improved overall as a group from last year.”

The Wolves opened their season Tuesday, March 20 against defending Class 4A state champion South as a well-conditioned team, Mason said.

“The girls have come in pretty fit,” she said.

The Wolves dropped their season opener 1-0 to South on Tuesday, March 20.

Eagle River takes on Service on Saturday, March 24 at 4:40 p.m. at the Dome.

Once she returns from a shoulder injury, senior keeper Kelsey Reeves will be key for the Wolves, Mason said.

Other senior returners include midfielder Jackie Klecka and defender Meaghan Byman.

The Wolves will be without star midfielder Rebecca Boggs, who now plays Division I soccer for the University of Colorado.

“It will be hard to replace an athlete like Rebecca Boggs,” Mason said. “It will be a challenge to replace that sort of athleticism.”

But her sister, Nikki, can help fill that void, Mason said.

Just a freshman, Nikki “is a player cast from a very similar mold,” Mason said.

Nikki Boggs is one of five freshmen Mason said will play significant minutes for Eagle River this year.

The Wolves had their first winning season in school history last year, and Mason wants to have similar success this season and finish above .500.

“We definitely don’t want to take any steps backwards,” she said. “The team and myself would be disappointed if that were to happen.”

Nearly half the team is made up of seniors, Mason said, and they want to be in the upper echelon of the Cook Inlet Conference.

“Those individuals would like to make a statement,” she said.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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