Special to The Ely Times
The White Pine High girls’ soccer team had a phenomenal year last season, 21-1, 14-0 in league, scoring an average of 5.7 goals per game, while holding the opponents virtually scoreless, surrendering only 20 goals in 22 games, an average of .09 per game.
Unfortunately, the glorious season came to an end with a sudden thud as they lost to Spring Creek, 5-1, in the first round of the 2A/3A Northern playoffs, the second playoff loss in a row to the Spartans.
This year a new coach steps in for the Ladycats, Jared Prengel, who comes over from the volleyball team where he was an assistant coach for the past five years.
But he comes to a team with good returning talent, including possibly as many as seven seniors.
Prengel said Zoey Beckley, Trace Deeds, Whitney Prengel and Eva Kingston are expected to be the main scoring as well as defensive foursome.
“We will have to make adjustments to our strikers and midfield position,” Prengel said. “We’ll be experimenting with different combinations for a time. Need a couple of games to see where people are going to fit in different spots.”
Prengel is not predicting the team, talented as they are, is going to duplicate the unbeaten string from last year.
“Just have to fill some gaps and move people around and I think we can.” he said.
In 2A North league play, Prengel says there really isn’t too much in the way of competition. “A lot of the games are called early because of the mercy rule. Talent-wise, we’re right in between the 2A and 3A leagues really. We do struggle with the 3A teams, especially in the playoffs, but do quite well in the 2A with the fine girls program we have.”
In 2017, the Ladycats bounced Whittell from its four-year hold on being league champions.
Incidentally, there are no 2A teams in the Southern League.
The season starts for the Ladycats with a tournament Aug. 25 at Spring Creek, playing three games on just that one day. Then they, along with the boys team, host the eight-team Jason Nelson Memorial tournament in Ely Aug. 31-Sept.1.
The Bobcats don’t play any of the 3A Northern teams during the regular season, not until they should make the playoffs anyway. Truckee is the two-time 2A/3A defending state champion.