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Sequim looks for fresh start with young lineup
"I have no idea why," the third-year coach says, pointing out just two athletes from the class of 2011 are suiting up for the purple and gold this fall.
With just four returning seniors and a slew of somewhat inexperienced freshman and sophomores, one might suspect the Wolves are in rebuilding mode.
Perhaps not. Led by seniors Anna LaBeaume and Kyla Hall, the Wolves have an interesting blend of varsity vets and newbies hungry to prove themselves.
Halewyn likes what she sees so far in preseason practices.
"They're coming together really well," she says, watching her girls complete a drill on the SHS practice fields. "We've got a great group of girls ... because of the unity. We are young but we work hard and will be tenacious."
Sequim likely will need it, considering the tough set of league foes they battled last season. Sequim won just one league game (3-2 against Bremerton) and earned one tie (a 1-1 stalemate with Port Angeles), although five of the Wolves' losses were by two goals or less.
Hall and LaBeaume join returnees Turi Anderson and Meghan Gammel in looking to turn the Sequim squad around.
"We have great upper classmen leadership," Halewyn says.
The Wolves will need it. Other than a blowout win against Forks to start the 2008 campaign, Sequim scored just 11 goals in the preceding 13 games. In addition, top scorer Sunma Agostine (six goals) graduated in June.
In previous seasons, Halewyn has had her top players start on defense to work the ball up field.
This year, the Sequim coach is having LaBeaume and Hall play midfield, putting the onus on her seniors to cover the majority of the field.
"If anyone can handle it, they can," Halewyn says.
Rachel DeWees, a sophomore who saw action as goalkeeper for the Wolves as a freshman, looks to keep opponents out of the net.
The Wolves have had recent seasons thwarted by multiple injuries, forcing makeshift lineups. This fall, Sequim has 33 players on the roster for varsity and junior varsity squads.
The Olympic League's top teams from last season figure to vie for the title once again; North Mason and Klahowya in the 2A ranks, North Kitsap and Olympic on the 3A side.
Sequim was scheduled to open the season at Forks on Sept. 8 - results were unavailable at press time. Sequim is at North Mason on Sept. 10 and Port Angeles on Sept. 14.
Preview: Sequim High Wolves girls soccer
2008 record: 1-10-1 in Olympic League (2-10-1 overall)
Coaches: Enid Halewyn, head coach (third year); Molly McAleer, assistant
Returnees: Turi Anderson (sr.), Anna LaBeaume (sr.), Kyla Hall (sr.), Meghan Gammel (sr.), Rachel DeWees (so.)
Newcomers: Lauren Bell (fr.), Kayla Hagberg (fr.), Paige Johnson (so.), Sarah Marble (so.), Haley Montelius (fr.), Margaret Norlund (jr.), Quinn O'Neil (so.), Elizabeth Shore (so.), Hillary Smith (fr.), Mollie Smith (fr.), Lorah Steichen (so.)
Outlook: For Sequim, any kind of win-loss success on the field will depend on how well their younger players can acclimate to varsity play. The Wolves have a few experienced leaders like Hall and LaBeaume, but they'll need some help to get more than one win and one tie in league play.
Key dates: Sept. 22 vs. Kingston, Sept. 29 at North Kitsap, Oct. 8 vs. Port Angeles, Oct. 29 vs. North Mason