PARKERSBURG - Fourth-year Parkersburg High School head girls soccer coach Kristen Schreiber has high hopes for the Big Reds this fall.
A year after going 11-6-3 on the pitch, the red and white feature an experienced lineup. However, finding the back of the net on a consistent basis is going to be key if the Big Reds want to achieve their goal of making the state tournament.
"We are no longer young underclassmen with this core group having been underclassmen and most have started for two or three years now," said the coach, whose team opens the regular season Friday night at Woodrow Wilson. "They are a highly motivated group as they feel they have underachieved last season."
Leading the way for PHS this season is a quartet of defensive captains, featuring seniors Jess Rogers and Dani McCay along with juniors Taylor Hunkele and Kenzie Hickenbottom.
"The defense will be very stout as the back five or six are all back from last year," added the coach, who is being assisted by Eric Hunkele and Maggie Ohneck.
Currently competing for the starting keeper job are a pair of 11th-graders in Sunni Terosky and Katie Stanley.
About 2014 Big Reds
* Parkersburg girls soccer roster: 00 Katie Stanley (GK), 1 Lauren Taylor (F), 2 Quinci Taylor (MF), 3 Halie Hill (MF), 5 Kenzie Hickenbottom (D), 7 Haleigh Miller (MF), 8 Rylee Stauffer (MF), 9 Taylor Hunkele (D), 10 Jess Rogers (D), 11 Dani McCay (D), 12 Madi Gwynn (F), 13 Rylee Boggess (F), 14 Abby Johnson (F), 16 Lauren Rinehart (MF), 17 Molly Powney (MF), 18 Nilum Patel (D), 21 Lauren Leaman (D), 27 Sunni Terosky (GK)
* Parkersburg schedule: Aug. 22: at Woodrow Wilson; Aug. 23: at Princeton; Aug. 26: Cabell Midland; Aug. 28: at Huntington; Aug. 30: Parkersburg South; Sept. 2: Hurricane; Sept. 4: at St. Albans; Sept. 6: Spring Valley; Sept. 9: at South Charleston; Sept. 11: at Nitro; Sept. 16: Winfield; Sept. 18: at Parkersburg South; Sept. 20: at Wheeling Park; Sept. 23: Capital; Sept. 25: at Riverside; Sept. 30: George Washington; Oct. 7: Ripley; Oct. 9: at Brooke; Oct. 11: MSAC; Oct. 16: at University
"Sunni has the experience, but Katie, she's fighting for it and challenging Sunni and I think it's a good competition between the two of them," added the coach.
"We're kind of waiting for one or the other to outshine the other. They've been pretty neck to neck at this point."
Offensively, PHS will look to leading returning scorer Abby Johnson to lead the way as she enters her junior campaign.
"I expect her to take a huge leap forward production wise. She had nine goals and five assists (last year)," Schreiber said. "I'm hoping she gets into double digits, closer to 20 would be my goal for her."
Johnson is expected to be joined by fellow forward Rylee Boggess, a 10th-grader, with fellow sophomore Madi Gwynn and junior Lauren Taylor adding depth.
Quinci Taylor, who along with Rogers and McCay are the lone seniors, will be competing for starting midfield spots along with juniors Lauren Rinehart, Halie Hill, Lauren Leaman and Haleigh Miller. Also expect to see 10th-graders Rylee Stauffer and Molly Powney in the midfield as well. Nilum Patel also provides depth as a sophomore defender.
"We are pretty solid and we possess the ball really well," Schreiber said of what she learned from PHS' first scrimmage versus Williamstown. "This group, I think they have a common goal and I'm really excited to see what they can do."