The Goshen High School girls soccer program has strung together a number of good seasons under the leadership of coach Dan Graber.
The potential could be there again this season, but to do so is going to take some work as the Redskins were hit hard by graduation following last year’s 13-4-1 (4-2-1 NLC) record.
“We have been fortunate to have some good teams come through here,” the 12th-year coach said. “I can’t remember the last time we didn’t win 10 games. But we have to replace 10 varsity players this year. Our entire defense is gone. We have 10 new faces on the varsity. This is a brand new team.”
Graber has a career record of 116-65-17.
Lost to graduation were Jennifer Arellano, Maddie Birky, Rachel Christner, Karina Flores, Gabby Romo, Leah Shetler, Janeth Vela and Courtney Wengerd. Romo and Vela were both all-NLC selections last season.
Romo is playing soccer at Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne while Birky, Flores and Vela are at Goshen College.
“We had our first NCAA Division One player in Romo,” Graber said. “We sent four very solid players to colleges.”
If the losses to graduation weren’t enough to overcome, junior Jessica Oyer is out for the season with a knee injury and classmate Yadira Cabrales is not out after deciding to focus on basketball.
Goshen opens the season by hosting NLC-rival Elkhart Memorial on Tuesday. The JV begins at 5 p.m. and the varsity around 6:45 p.m.
“This is our home year. We have nine home matches,” Graber said. “But we are going to be busy early on. We have seven games in the first two weeks.”
Four seniors are among the eight letterwinners back. They are midfielder Martha Castillo, defender Miranda Kay, midfielder Amira Kupty and defender Anna Shetler.
Kay and Kupty are team captains
Kay scored four goals and assisted on 15 others in 2012 as she was an all-NLC selection.
“Kay is a key for us,” Graber said. “She was a midfielder last season, but is switching to sweeper for this one,” the coach said. “After the season she had in 2012 I would love to have her on offense, but the team needs her on defense. She has accepted the change and knows it is best for the team. I’m proud of the leadership she is showing.”
Castillo netted seven goals and tallied eight assists last season.
“Martha is moving to midfield,” Graber said. “She is an extremely skilled forward, but we need her good ball control. She is one of the better players in the NLC.”
Junior returnees are midfielder Joleen Miller and defender Bryana Palomino. Sophomores are keeper Alyssa Hershberger and forward Jelitza Palomino.
Jelitza Palomino scored a school-record 22 goals and Hershberger posted a school-record 11 shutouts a year ago.
“A team needs a quality goalie to be competitive,” Graber said. “We will put a respectable defense on the field, but it gives you a lot more confidence having Hershberger in goal.”
Other seniors on the varsity are defender Sadie Drescher, midfielder Sarah Rush and forward Diana Zermeno. Another junior is midfielder Marisela Salazar. More sophomores are midfielders Xenia Isaula, and Catherine Loera,
“Our top 11 players are pretty good, but our bench is not as deep,” Graber said.
Freshmen are defender Ashton Ellis, defender Priscila Flores and forward Aylissa Trosper.
“Ellis is a great athlete,” Graber said. “She is a very skilled player and should make an immediate impact on our defense. We are also excited about having Trosper up top. She is going to be counted on to help lead the offense. The two of them are going to start and starting two freshmen doesn’t happen often.”
Kari Wildman returns as the varsity assistant coach.
The JV includes a junior class of midfielder Jubilee Charles, midfielder Jasmine Diaz, defender Sabrina Garcia and defender Olivia Wenger. Sophomores are defender Yesenia Coronado, forward Keila Flores, goalie Kyrie Potter and midfielder Alejandra Rascon. Freshmen are forward Melanie Calderon, defender Giselle Coronado, defender Taylor Gangwer, defender Abby Hetler, defender Elizabeth Liechty, forward Maria Ramos, forward Karen Rangel, midfielder Montse Reyes, defender Kassandra Rodriguez, defender Daniela Ruiz, midfielder Jenny Serrano and defender Paige Yoder.
“We have a good feeder system from the middle school,” Graber said. “We had 17 freshmen come out this year. It was the first time I had to cut more than one or two girls. The freshmen class is talented.”
Josh Quarandillo is the new JV coach and his assistant is Kelli Myers.
Varsity managers are Katie Younghans and Kristen Schlamersdorf while Courtney Pollock and Luz Perez work with the JV.
Aug. 20 — Elkhart Memorial H
Aug. 22 — NorthWood H
Aug. 24 — FW Snider Invitational
Aug. 26 — Elkhart Central H
Aug. 29 — Bethany T
Aug. 31 — Northridge H
Sept. 3 — Warsaw H
Sept. 5 — LaPorte H
Sept. 7 — Wawasee T
Sept. 12 — Plymouth T
Sept. 16 — Westview H
Sept. 23 — SB Riley T
Sept. 26 — East Noble H
Oct. 1 — Concord H
Oct. 3 — West Noble T
Oct. 8 — Sectional at Memorial
Oct. 10 — Sectional at Memorial
Oct. 12 — Sectional Championship at Memorial
Oct. 16 — Regional at Goshen
Oct. 19 — Regional Championship at Goshen
Oct. 26 — Semistate at IPFW
Nov. 2 — State Finals at Indianapolis