The Oak Harbor High School soccer team will rely on “new blood” this year, according to coach Mike Lonborg.
The transfusion of talent should help the Wildcats improve on its 3-12-1 record from last fall.
Leading the newcomers are sophomore goal keeper Trinity Styles and freshmen Cassie Stady and Chloe Wallace.
They will join a nucleus of returning players, senior letter winners Caylie Etherington, Jenna Cooley and Lenika Aguilar, junior Jessica Vester and sophomores Gracie Hiteshew and Mikhaela Cortez.
Team captain Etherington was a first-team, all-Wesco midfielder in 2016; Cortez was a second-team defender.
“We have the beginnings of a very solid back line,” Lonborg said. “Three returning starters on defense should help a new goalie and another freshman on the line.”
Scoring is Lonborg’s biggest concern, but the talented Etherington should give the Wildcats a target up top.
“Expectations and goals are simple — make the playoffs,” Lonborg said. “Once you hit playoffs, anything is possible.
“(We have) a good group of girls this year that are going to work hard, strive for the top and do the best they can do. As a coach, that’s all I can ask.”
Oak Harbor hosts a jamboree at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.
Squalicum comes to Wildcat Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, for the season opener.