NK soccer team kicking off new season

"POULSBO - When Teri Ishihara looked at the practice field Thursday afternoon, she saw more than two teams of soccer players battling it out. She saw a load of potential. Potential is a word that comes up often connected to the North Kitsap High School 2000 girls' soccer team, a team loaded with talent and looking to improve on last year's showing. This year's our year, said Lindsey Ross, a senior and co-captain of the team. "

“POULSBO – When Teri Ishihara looked at the practice field Thursday afternoon, she saw more than two teams of soccer players battling it out. She saw a load of potential. Potential is a word that comes up often connected to the North Kitsap High School 2000 girls’ soccer team, a team loaded with talent and looking to improve on last year’s showing. This year’s our year, said Lindsey Ross, a senior and co-captain of the team. Last year, she said, was fun and productive, but disappointing that the Vikings didn’t win league. Ross had been on the team the year before, when they had finished fourth in the state. And it is to those heights Ross and the rest of the Vikings would like to soar this season. I want to go to the playoffs really bad, Ross said … and thinks her teammates will help her get there. We had a lot of new players coming in last year who were pretty good, she said. Teammate Brandy Madle agrees. We gelled, Madle said. She also has a specific goal for this season. I want to win league, she said. To that end, Madle, who has been All-League since her freshman year, has been working this summer, playing in tournaments in Texas and California and working on individual skills. I’ve been running and working on my ball skills, she said. Madle uses that p-word, too, adding: There’s a lot of potential here. Ross agrees. Everyone has a lot of school spirit, she said. When the season starts we’ll play together every day. We’ll get really close. Coach Ishihara is also looking forward to the year. After having a younger team last year, she said, now she can call on some veteran leadership, with seven seniors trying out for the squad. She has waited for this year for a while, she said. Last year they were very young, she said. We had lost several seniors from the previous year (the final four team) and so last year was a building year. But now we have kids who were sophomores that went to that final four. Every since that state competition, Ishihara said, she has been looking forward to this year. I was excited, knowing in two years we would have them, she said. The talent has been helped, she added, by an influx of talent from the junior highs. Last year we had a strong group of freshman, she said. The year began with some fitness testing for the athletes, who had to run a mile and sprint during some shuttle runs. The girls are in good shape, Ishihara claimed. Most of these girls play year-round anyway, she said. The team will be deep as well as talented, she said. We’re going to carry two teams, because just don’t want to cut anybody, she said. We have a lot of depth, a lot of potential. It just depends on whether it presents itself. “

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