Despite last year’s struggles, Maricopa High School girls’ soccer head coach Mallory Miller has great expectations for her veteran team this season.
“I always have high expectations for my girls each and every year,” Miller said. “I have learned from coaching over 20 years that if you set your expectations high and hold your team to those expectations, then they will continue to rise to each and every occasion. I want us to compete as a complete team, not individually, each and every game.
“ I’m very excited for the 2015-2016 soccer season, and I have confidence we will have a great group of student athletes representing our MHS women’s soccer program.”
The girls’ soccer team will be facing difficult competition. The Lady Rams have been placed in Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Division II Section IV. This division will be shared by perennial power programs Skyline High School, Queen Creek High School and Mesa High School, which happens to be one of the five largest schools in Arizona. However, this is the division the girls’ team chose to compete in.
“The girls’ soccer was moved down (to Division III), but petitioned to go back up (to Division II),” MHS boys’ soccer head coach Cortney Kellenaers said.
If the Lady Rams are going to compete with the larger schools, they will need standout performances from their veteran players.
“I’m excited to say that we have 15 returning players from our 2014-2015 MHS girls’ soccer program,” Miller said. “As of right now, I don’t know specific players that will emerge as leaders. More than likely I will be counting on my upperclassmen to help lead our program this year.”
Seniors Joann O’Hare and Andrea Perez will likely step into a leadership role for the young group of Rams featuring nine juniors, eight underclassmen.
The girls’ team will kick of the season Dec. 3 at home against the Vista Grande High School Spartans at 6 p.m.
Dec. 3 6 p.m. (H) Vista Grande
Dec. 8 6 p.m. (H) Desert Ridge
Dec. 10 6 p.m. (H) Salpointe Catholic
Dec. 15 6 p.m. (A) Dobson
Dec. 17 6 p.m. (A) Seton Catholic
Jan. 5 6 p.m. (H) Queen Creek
Jan. 8 6 p.m. (A) Mesquite
Jan. 12 6 p.m. (H) Westwood
Jan. 14 6 p.m. (A) Williams Field
Jan. 19 6 p.m. (H) Skyline
Jan. 21 6 p.m. (H) Mesa
Jan. 27 6 p.m. (A) Higley