AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn High Schools girls soccer team had a special season last fall, going undefeated all the way to the Division 2 State Championship.
Now, with “a great core coming back,” Coach Larry Midura and his team start their title defense in the coming weeks.
“We’re going to work hard every day,” Midura said. “The nine returning players know what our expectations are here. We have great leadership coming back. They’re very solid and very physical players.”
Last season, the team allowed just five goals all season as it took home a Central Massachusetts championship and a state title. The team’s impressive record was 24-0-1.
Auburn beat Nipmuc, 2-1, in overtime to win the Central Massachusetts title, and then the Rockets defeated Canton, 1-0, for the state crown.
“It was a tremendous season,” Midura said. “It was a fun ride, and the championship was well-deserved. Hopefully, we can duplicate that this year.”
The Rockets have the tough task of replacing 11 players from last year’s title team, seven of them starters.
But Midura said the nine returning seniors will help transition the youngsters from last season’s junior varsity squad.
The nine returnees are Erin Scanlon, Lizzy Carlson, Kayla Almstrom, Jordann Hauge, Lesedi Graveline, Jaime Bailey, Alyssa Boyle, Olivia Elsaid and Katie Whalen.
Midura said the team is unable to practice before Aug. 23 due to state rules. But when that date comes, the team will get right back to work.
“We’ll emphasize the basic skills, passing, receiving and trapping, in the beginning,” Midura said. “We’ll really pound those skills into them and go from there.”
Athletic Director William Garneau said the school’s sports teams are ready to go.
“It should be another exciting fall,” Garneau said. “We have a very strong senior class. The coaches are excited, and the kids have been working hard all summer.”