Girls look back on stellar soccer season
Last updated 4/13/2021 at Noon
The Lady Outlaws soccer team made big strides this year, and went from a 21st-ranked team in state last year to 10th in the state this year. In any normal year, the top 20 teams would advance to state playoffs, but with the reduced season and COVID-19 restrictions this year, they are only taking the top eight, which means the Outlaws miss out by two.
Due to restrictions, teams are also unable to meet together for their year-end celebrations and awards.
Coach Brian Holden gave out four coaches awards, including the Golden Boot, the Most Valuable Player (MVP), the Most Improved, and the Best Defensive Player of the Year.
The Golden Boot went to Hollie Lewis, the player who scored the most goals during the season. Hollie did a good job of putting herself in front of the goal, and she finished the majority of her opportunities.
Anya Shockley was named the Outlaws’ MVP. Anya contributed on offense in both goals scored and assists which made her a threat to opponents.
Most Improved went to both Katie Ryan and Josie Patton. Katie, just a freshman, started for the Outlaws. Holden said she started the season timid and unsure, but soon found herself confident and scoring in front of the goal. Josie improved her game at the keeper position by minimizing mistakes in front of the goal, and she was a leader in the back through her great communication.
Analise Backus and Sage Wyland both received the Best Defensive Player of the Year award. The duo was very organized and they complimented each other at center back with their speed and intelligence.
During league, Lewis led the team with six goals. Shockley and Holden each recorded three. Shockley led the team with six assists, and Holden and Cramer each tallied two.
Holden was impressed with Isabelle Schiller and Marley Holden, who held down the midfield.
“I was impressed with their fitness and knowledge of the game,” said Holden. “These two girls worked great as a team with ball distribution and communication through the middle.”
Tatem Cramer, Emma Lutz, Katie Ryan, and Emilie Turpen all played at outside midfield. Holden noted that these girls brought offense from the outside, which is something the team lacked previously, and their hard work helped the Outlaws be a more versatile team.
The Outlaws defense, Analise Backus, Sage Wyland, Maddie Symonds, and Maggie Lutz, allowed only four goals in the regular season. They worked together as a cohesive unit and communicated well with each other.
Reese Harrell and Oly Thorson were asked to play multiple positions, and Holden noted that they are two of the few players on the team that are versatile and successful. They both brought experience to the team and Holden is excited to see what they do next year.
The Outlaws should bring back a talented, experienced, veteran squad next season, as they only lose one senior this year, Emilie Turpen.
Holden was extremely pleased with his team’s efforts this year and is already excited about next fall.
“These girls actually exceeded my expectations,” said Holden. “I’m impressed with the amount of goals they scored this year, and their team unity and commitment. Their hard work persevered to the end in every game. I’m looking forward to the fall season. I know they have a lot they want to prove. They’re a fun group of girls to coach and I’m excited to see what they’ll accomplish.”