Chugiak, Eagle River girls hit the pitch

Mustangs have experience, ERHS has new coach


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Eagle River’s Nikki Boggs controls the ball as she’s flanked by Chugiak’s Alexis Day, left, and Holly Brehmer during a game last season.

MIKE NESPER

Though four graduating seniors took of ton of talent with them, the Mustangs’ 10 returners should keep Chugiak’s girls soccer team strong for the 2013 season, head coach Paul Brehmer said.

“We have a pretty good group coming back,” he said. “We should be competitive.”

Junior Holly Brehmer — a 2012 first team All-Cook Inlet Conference selection — is one of five key returning upperclassmen, coach Brehmer said. The others include seniors Jessi Beverlin, Tori Fishburn, Grace Ogden and Sierra Humphrey.

Odgden — who is playing Division II soccer at Bemidji State next year — and Beverlin received CIC honorable mention honors last season.

Perhaps the biggest void to fill is in goal, a position first team all-conference keeper Beka Zellers played for four years. The job was awarded to freshman Alexis Trombley, who tops a long list of players eager to stand between the pipes.

“We’ve got several girls that are interested in playing goalkeeper this year,” coach Brehmer said.

As of last week, 43 girls were signed up for soccer and coach Brehmer is hoping to field a C team this season.

Provided his team stays healthy, coach Brehmer anticipates a successful varsity year. Last year, sixth-seeded Eagle River ended Chugiak’s season with a 3-1 upset over the third-seeded Mustangs in the first round of the conference tournament.

The Mustangs opened the 2013 campaign with a 3-1 win against West on Tuesday, March 19 at The Dome. Holly Brehmer had two goals and Janissa Arzie added another.

Chugiak plays Service on Saturday, March 23 at 9:45 a.m. at The Dome.

 

New coach, new focus at ERHS

First-year head coach Trent Boggs is looking to build on the foundation laid by Lauren Mason over the past two seasons.

“Lauren was a great coach,” Boggs said. “We were sad to hear that she left.”

Last year, Eagle River upset No. 3 Chugiak in the first round of the CIC tournament before falling to Service 1-0 in the third-place game.

Boggs said he plans to focus more on offense this season.

“I tend to be more of a ball control and attacking minded person,” he said. “My mission is going to be to put the ball in the back of the net more.”

Boggs also wants input from his players to help shape the team.

“This is their team,” he said. “We want to get buy in from the players.”

Though the roughly 20 players on the Wolves’ roster is more than last year’s 16, Eagle River is once again fielding just one team. Boggs is determined to change that trend.

“Our mission is to grow the program,” he said.

The Wolves, who graduated seven seniors, have eight returners.

Key returners include seniors Gaby Mordini — a 2012 second-team all-conference defender — Chris Bottini and Elana Williams.

Also back for the Wolves are Nikki Boggs, who received CIC honorable mention honors as a freshman, Samantha Coy and Makayla Carroll.

Tara Fisher, who played most of last season in relief of injured keeper Kelsey Reeves, is the Wolves’ starting goalie.

“She’s got a lot of experience,” coach Boggs said.

With a team full of inexperience, coach Boggs knows he could be in for a long inaugural season. However, he said, wins and losses aren’t as important as quality of play.

“I hope to see a well-played game regardless of the scoreline,” he said.

The Wolves open their season against Dimond today (March 21) at 6:30 p.m. at The Dome. Eagle River then plays East on Saturday, March 23 at 11:30 a.m. at The Dome.

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