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home : sports : sports September 15, 2014

8/27/2013 1:30:00 PM
Girls soccer returns veteran squad
By Rongi Yost

The Lady Outlaws soccer team returns all but one player to their squad this year, and many are top players with all-league and all-state honors under their belts. Five of the returnees played soccer year- round on competitive club teams which will give the Outlaws squad a huge advantage as they match up against league opponents. The Lady Outlaws look strong and confident as they head into the preseason.

Natalie Ambrose (senior) returns as a seasoned veteran player and has competed in two state championships for Sisters. She is one of the top female soccer players in Oregon and has earned recognition through improving her skills through hard work and playing on multiple teams across the country. Last year she earned first-team all-league recognition, and was an honorable mention for the all-state selection. Ambrose has committed to play for Columbia University in New York next year. Columbia is a Division 1 school which competes with other Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale.

"Natalie is an amazing defender and has endless energy on the field," said second-year Coach Audrey Tehan. "Her endurance and speed are rare to come across, and this combined with her technical skills on the ball make her a vital asset to the team. Her control of the ball is amazing, and makes her deadly when she gets the ball at the feet."

Liz Stewart returns as a junior, and with two years under her belt has already accumulated a list of top honors. Last year Liz was named to the first-team all-state and was voted MVP all-league for the Sky-Em. Liz was one of the best defenders in the league and also the most lethal offensive player against any opponent the Outlaws faced. Stewart was the team's high scorer with 13 goals.

Stewart plays year-round on the very competitive Bend Timbers Club team, and the time and effort she puts in is very evident when she's on the field.

"Liz has the ability to control the offense and defense of the team from anywhere on the field," said Tehan. "She will help propel the team again by playing in the center either at midfield or at defense."

Emily Corrigan (senior and second-team all-leaguer) is a tenacious player and according to Tehan, an amazing leader both on and off the field.

"Emily always drives toward the goal, which makes her one of our strongest attacking players," stated Tehan. "Her footwork has improved a lot since last season and she is great at making combination plays to get past a defense."

Haley Carlson (senior) will be back with a lot of experience at the outside midfield position. Last year Haley received second-team all-league honors.

"Haley really controls the offense with her attacks down the side," said Tehan. "She is so reliable and consistent and her accuracy with corner kicks and crosses led to many goals last season."

Kristen Sanders (senior) plays at the forward position and always finds the feet of other forwards to drive the ball toward the goal. Last season she had some very important assists, which allowed the Lady Outlaws to win the Sky-Em title. Tehan stated that Sanders will add important dynamics to the squad.

Claire Henson (senior) will play at outside defense for the Outlaws this year. Henson is a steadfast and reliable player who is always in the right place at the right time. Tehan noted that Claire has great defensive skills and can make great combination plays as well as being a great leader who pushes the team to do their best.

Junior Cassandra Arruda played year-round with the Bend FC Timbers and was a key defender for the club team at the national tournament this summer in Colorado. Tehan noted that Arruda is an extremely smart player with great ball control, and is very good at distributing the ball, knowing when to dribble and when to shoot or pass. Cassandra will most likely play at outside defense.

Molly Boyle (junior) is back and injury-free. Boyle was forced to sit out half of last season due to a stress fracture, and still managed to earn honorable mention within the Sky-Em League. Tehan told The Nugget that Molly is one of the fastest players she's seen at the high school level and that her speed on and off the ball is lethal. Boyle will play at outside midfield or at center for the Outlaws. Molly just received notice she made the cut for the Olympic Development Program Team (ODP), a very competitive team comprised of the best players in the state.

Nina Horner (sophomore) has skills as a goalkeeper and on the field, which made her a crucial player for the Outlaws last season. The team experienced multiple injuries at key positions such as center midfield and goalie, and Nina was able to easily step in and fill the role. Horner will share time in the goal and at the forward position this season.

"A player who can just step in and hold strong in center midfield and as a goalkeeper is so unique," said Tehan. "It says a lot about Nina's mentality. She is calm, determined, and confident and will help the team out in many ways this season."

Michaela Miller earned first-team all-league recognition last year as a freshman and returns for her second year at the varsity level. Michaela has been playing year-round and played in the center for the Bend Timber's Club team in the National Tournament. She has also been accepted for the Olympic Development Program team. She will play in the center for the Outlaws this year and will be key for controlling the field, winning balls and attacking.

"Michaela is one of my favorite players to watch," said Tehan. "Her athleticism is amazing. She can jump, sprint, turn and cut in any situation with a soccer ball at her feet."

Jenny O'Conner returns as a junior, and according to Tehan she's one of the most improved players coming into the season. Tehan stated that O' Conner brings a lot of great energy to the team, puts 100 percent effort in everything she does and always creates an upbeat environment.

Anna Ortega (sophomore) received honorable mention last year and will be back on defense for the Outlaws.

"Anna is a tenacious defender and never stops," said Tehan. "She can play any position and jumps in wherever she's needed."

Danielle Rudinsky (junior) will play at outside midfielder and also at forward this year.

"Dani gives her best effort in every drill and is constantly encouraging players and pushing herself to improve," stated Tehan. "She is a very smart player and has grown stronger and faster in the off-season. She's become very good at outside midfielder and knows when to distribute the ball into the center, which is crucial."

Taylor Schneider (sophomore) returns as the Outlaws' goalie .

"Taylor stepped up and played goalie for us last season and made a lot of crucial plays," said Tehan.

"She has great hands and is a very smart player who knows where she should be."

Hannah Ceciliani is the only new player to the varsity squad. Hannah is a sophomore transfer from Tualatin. She plays goalkeeper and also has good footwork so she will be able to help the team out in other positions if needed.

"All of the girls have gotten better technically and have built up a lot more strength and experience which will help propel us into the season," said Tehan. "We hope to make it far into the playoffs, but are going to take it one practice and game at a time."

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