Janesville Cougars soccer has wealth of talent, experience
Talent and experience define the 2011 Janesville Craig girls soccer team.
The Cougars have 14 players with varsity experience, including four who earned All-Big Eight Conference recognition a year ago.
Craig High, which went 6-10-3 overall last season, including 3-4-1 in the Big Eight, opens the season with a nonconference game at Whitewater on Thursday night.
“I’ve got a confident group that is looking forward to getting the season started,” Craig coach Bill McCabe said. “It’s a solid group of girls that have been with me for a long time. They’ve set the bar high this season because they know what they want to achieve.”
Heading the returnees are seven seniors, led by Samantha Glowacki. The defender was second-team All-Big Eight last season and will be joined on defense by returning starter Mina Shahlapour.
“I’ve got a very athletic group, and some good depth throughout the lineup,” said McCabe. “The girls know what I was expecting coming into the season as far as conditioning goes, and they’ve done a great job of getting themselves ready.”
Seniors Chelsea Sheedy and Ashley Overley, both All-Big Eight honorable mention a year ago, will start at forward and midfielder, respectively. Seniors Emily Legreid and Sarah Ziegler add depth and athleticism to what should be a productive offense. Senior Amanda Hamilton, also All-Big Eight honorable mention last year, starts at goalkeeper.
“Our depth is going to become important as the season goes along, especially at midfield,” McCabe said. “I expect our midfielders to run from goal to goal, so we’ve got to have girls ready to step in when our starters need a break.”
McCabe thinks junior Jessica Ryder can be an impact defender, while juniors Michaela Holzhuter and Kayleah Wright are solid midfielders. Junior Sarah Gray will play forward, while junior Ina Purzinskis is a defender.
Sophomores Kristi Crandall and Allie Kitching will also be in the playing rotation, as McCabe has a number of player options.
“I think we have a team that’s capable of keeping the pressure on, and with Amanda as our goalkeeper, we have a very special athlete that gets better and better,” McCabe said.
“The girls have been looking forward to Thursday (season-opener) for a long time. That’s the only game they care about right now.”
April: 7—At Whitewater, 6:30 p.m.; 14—Beloit Memorial, 7 p.m.; 15—At Fond du Lac Invitational, 5 p.m.; 16—At Fond du Lac Invitational, TBD; 21—Madison Memorial, 7 p.m.; 22—Craig Quadrangular (Elkhorn, Green Bay East, Tomah), 5 and 7 p.m.; 23—Craig Quadrangular, 10 a.m. and noon; 25—At Belleville, 6:30 p.m.; 28—At Middleton, 7 p.m.; 29—At Belleville Quadrangular (w/ Evansville, Mount Horeb and Belleville), 4 p.m.
May: 3—Janesville Parker (Think Pink—Breast Cancer Awareness Night), 7 p.m.; 5—At Madison East, 7 p.m.; 7—Kenosha Tremper, noon; 10—Evansville, 7 p.m.; 12—Madison West, 7 p.m.; 17—At Verona, 5 p.m.; 19—Sun Prairie, 7 p.m.; 20—At Lake Mills, 6:30 p.m.; 24—At Madison La Follette, 7 p.m.; 26—At Oregon, 5 p.m.