Area girls soccer teams are entering the 2017 season with two different mindsets: rebuilding and success. Some teams are looking to improve upon last year, while others are planning on being big contenders in the 2017 season.
Southington, Innovation and Newington are all coming off successful 2016 seasons. This year should be no different as they hope to continue their success.
New Britain, Plainville and Berlin are all looking to improve upon last year.
Berlin is coming into the 2017 season with a new head coach, as Katie Amenta will be taking over.
Here is a closer look at each:
Head coach: Kevin R. Williams
Last year: 4-9-1
Key losses: Natalie Brewer and Brittany Ford
Expected key returnees: Maya Mlynarska, Gabby Roy, Eldina Begic and Analise Rodriguez
Outlook: The New Britain girls soccer team is coming off a season that didn’t go as well as it had hoped.
New Britain aims to compete in every game. It will play with more defense than offense, and being disciplined will be key to the season.
Many of the girls have only played recreational level soccer and are competing against towns with established effective feeder programs.
Head coach: Michael Linehan (3rd season)
Last year: 10-6-1
Key losses: Rylee Van Epps, Janelle Mangassarian and Caroline Kemnitz
Key returnees: seniors Taylor Hubert, Ariana Gazaferi, Alexa Imme, Nicole Carter and Abigail Connolly
Outlook: The Blue Knights are coming off a successful 2016 season, making the tournament with a 10-5-1 record, and have most of their team returning from last year.
They are entering with an experienced team looking to return to the postseason.
Southington will be rebuilding the defense and replacing its starting goalkeeper, which leads to the probability of making them vulnerable early in the season.
Head coach: Adam Wilkinson (5th season)
Last year: 14-5
Key losses: Lindsey Fairbank, Madison Lewicki and Karli Hellman
Key returnees: Sky Couillard (senior), Abby Molloy (junior), Zoe Walk (junior) Emmy Petronio (junior) and Mary Ancona (junior)
Outlook: Coming off a successful 2016 season, the team lost three four-year starters, including All-State midfielder Lindsey Fairbank, all-conference midfielder Madison Lewicki and all-conference defender Karli Hellman.
The Indians have a big junior class to fill the missing gaps.
Newcomers to watch are freshman Olivia Mullings (forward) and Emily Chojnicki (defensive midfielder).
Head coach: Leszek Wrona (18th season)
Last year: 4-9-3
Key losses: Lauren Tanner, Page Miller, Jessica Masko and Mellisa Lux
Key returnees: Taylor Lapira (senior), Serena Simard (senior), Hannah Zelasko (senior), Litzy Cruz (senior), Abby Leander (senior), Rachel Parsons (junior), Ebelyn Rodriguez (junior), Sarah Tomczyk (sophomore) and Caitlin Barker (junior)
Outlook: Plainville struggled last season, with its biggest problem the inability to consistently score goals. Out of the 16 games played, Plainville was shut out in nine of them.
The Blue Devils missed their chance last year, with a loss in their final match of the regular season against Berlin to finish 4-9-3.
Plainville shouldn’t be expected to be at the top of the league in 2017, but improvement certainly seems like a real possibility.
Head coach: Katie Amenta (1st season)
Last year: 12-4-0
Key losses: Grace McCann and Tess Atkinson
Key returnees: Julia Sisti (senior), Maxine Muscatello (junior), Amy Kuckel (sophomore) and Lindsay Walsh (junior)
Outlook: The Redcoats are coming off of a sensational 2016 season, only losing four of their 16 games.
The Redcoats have great leadership from their upperclassmen and well as a new head coach, as Katie Amenta will take over.
They are an athletic bunch and want to build on strength and speed to enhance their overall game.
With the new season comes new players to watch. The Redcoats have freshman striker Ashley Wenzel and fellow freshman Jenna Zup, a midfielder, to look for.
Collectively, the Redcoats are a young team with a strong work ethic and look forward to a successful season.
Head coach: Kathryn Scalia (4th season)
Last year: 12-4-2
Key returnees: Victoria Piechota (senior), Kelsey Walicki (senior), Aryanna Townsend (senior), Natalia Mularzuk (senior), Mackensie Spencer (junior), Malena VanBeveren (junior) and Lianna Giles (senior)
Outlook: The Ravens are looking to build on the success they had last fall and have high expectations for the 2017 season.
The team will take the field with all but one player from last year’s roster returning, including four all-conference players and All-State selection Victoria Piechota.
Innovation has added several new players after a school merger with the former Two Rivers Magnet High School.
With the returning core of players and several new additions, the Ravens look to have all of the pieces to put together another strong season.