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New beginnings : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
New beginnings
Youthful lineup to provide power for Oswego East soccer

by Mike Slodki


Area girls' soccer fans will see an Oswego East team with a newer and younger look.

The Class 3A Oswego Regional semifinal loss to rival Oswego last May ended the Wolves' season at 6-10 (2-5 Southwest Prairie Conference) meant the goodbye for eight seniors and former coach Lauren Anderson, who moved with her family out of state.

Taking over is former varsity assistant Hayley Morganegg, who now tries to steer an eager group topped by just two seniors and three juniors.

"I feel like we're mentally ready," Morganegg said. "This year, we're definitely attacking as a program. I think we're ready."

Gone are former scoring threats like Anida Phetchanpheng and Brittany Brewer, responsible for the team's season-high four match win streak in the month of April.

Also a question mark is Kent State recruit Miranda Lambert, nursing injuries with an unknown timetable and Alexa Tobias, dealing with injuries, as well. Lambert was able to play in Tuesday's season opener.

The lone seniors are defender Kacey Bruns and midfielder Rene Niessner. The triad of juniors are defender Jodi Makara, Ariana Rasti and Katie Warren.

Oswego East (0-1) could see a solidifying edge with the growing game of Bruns.

"She's very confident, communicates well, and has great speed. Jodie will be another one of our strong defenders," Morganegg said.

Sophomores are Taylor Cassian, Abigail Glasgow, starting goalkeeper Bridget Moran and midfielder Allison Ross.

Freshmen are Alexe Anderson, Kara Blasingame, Emily Brandt, Safia Hannan, Maddie Lambert, Rachel Mieritz, Taylor Peck and Jasmine Ruiz.

"We always have room on our roster for promoting. We have a talented program right now. We have girls working their tails off at the lower levels that we feel will be ready a little bit later," Morganegg said.

Despite the young lineup, the head coach feels like there's plenty to like.

"It's definitely their energy. They come out to play soccer, they can put everything aside, the nervousness and the jitters. They'll bring a different game than we've experienced," Morganegg said.

The newly-gelling lineup could see change from the beginning of the season to the end.

"We haven't been outside, and we've had very limited full-field capabilities. You get outside and it's a different game," Morganegg said.

The Southwest Prairie Conference leaves room for improvement and a chance to rise past the likes of the Plainfields and Oswego.

"Plainfield North is the one that everyone wants to go get," Morganegg said. "I think Plainfield Central and Oswego, and I hope we're in there."

Season festivities began on Tuesday, with 2-1 loss to Glenbard South. Hannan assisted Lambert's first half goal.

Southwest Prairie battles kick off on April 13 at Oswego. Senior Night is on May 7 against Plainfield Central.

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