Sports

"Speed, speed and more speed"

"After losing eight solid senior players from a state-tournament team, you could understand why Bainbridge soccer coach Susan Fowler lowered her expectations for this year.After the first week of practice, that changed.At first I would have said this group doesn't have the experience that our past teams have had, she said. But after a week of practice, I think the talent's there, and it's going to come together.Last year's team won 10 games and made it to the Sweet 16 round of the state playoffs. Fowler thinks this year's edition has the potential to be just as good.For starters, Fowler said it is the fastest team she's had at BHS.We run a timed mile and a half the first day of practice, Fowler said. Usually, there are some who just struggle to finish. But this year, everybody was under 14 minutes, and most everybody was under 11.For another thing, Fowler says the Spartan senior goalkeeping tandem of Maegen Beattie and Lisa Earnest will be the strongest in the league.That's really a critical position, because they not only stop the other team, but have a big role in initiating the attack, Fowler said.Yet a third reason for optimism is the quality of both the returning and new players.The talent begins with captain Alice Bischoff, a senior, who has been an all-league performer the past three seasons. After three years of playing defense, Bischoff will have a chance to play offense this season, Fowler said.Teaming with Fowler on the attack will be junior Fabrieanna Fab Rezayat, who spent the summer in the Olympic Development Program. Fab is probably our most creative player, Fowler said, adding that Rezayat frequently initiates the Spartan attack.The other forward with varsity experience is senior Suzanne Replinger.Some talented underclassmen who will also see playing time at forward are junior Crisma Biggs, the track team's top sprinter, and Adriana Gonzalez-Medina, the lone freshman on the varsity roster.Anchoring the Bainbridge defense will be junior sweeper Suzanne Fossum.She's a critical player, Fowler said. Her job is organizing the defense.The other defenders will include seniors Sarah Fowler, Courtney Walker and Anna-Lisa Breiland.It's not a big corps of defenders, but they're talented, Fowler said. We look for defenders who don't just interrupt the other team's attack, but initiate our offense.The midfielders, who have major roles on both offense and the defense, include senior Lauren Hume, juniors Emily Haber and Courtney McFarlane, and sophomores Lindsay Carlson and Inger Fredricks.Rounding out the squad is junior Christen Faltermeier, who Fowler said will play for us, but I haven't figured out just where yet.Because of the team's speed, Fowler said she believes that offensive fast breaks and good transitions will be the team's strengths.As to areas that may need more work, Fowler said, some of our players tend to hold the ball too long.Fowler expects the Spartans' main competition to come from the traditional Olympic League soccer powers - Port Angeles, Olympic and North Kitsap. And even though Bainbridge's regular-season record may suffer from playing in the Olympic League, where five of the nine schools are in the large-school 4A classification, Fowler thinks that pays big dividends when the Spartans get to the 3A state tournament.We need to play the tough teams in order to prepare for state, she said. "

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