BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity soccer team appears poised for another great season with veteran leadership and good depth at nearly every position on both sides of the field.
With 20 players returning from last year’s team, which went 4-8, and a flock of young Mallards ready to make their mark on the program, the future looks bright for Worcester this fall. The current roster is balanced with seven seniors and 10 juniors with varsity experience, along with five sophomores and five freshmen.
Last year’s team went 4-8, but the final record is not necessarily indicative of how they played. The Mallards were tough on defense all last year and that should continue. It starts in goal with four-year starter Marissa Grimes in the net. Grimes was the ESIAC goalkeeper of the year last season and should return to form this year.
Fronting Grimes on defense is a talented group including Hillary Roughton, who will anchor the unit. For the most part, Roughton will be flanked on defense by twins Sophie and Anna Townsend, who gained valuable varsity experience last year. Another player expected to make an impact this year on defense is Shelby Zimmer, who will handle most of the goal kicks.
Another key player for Worcester this year is Erin Ternahan, who will play the center midfield position and control the action in the middle of the field. Ternahan is a four-year starter and should be the quarterback of sorts for the Mallards in the all-important middle of the field where soccer games are often won or lost.
Putting the ball in the net and finishing plays was a challenge at times last year for Worcester, but the Mallards appear to have some firepower up front going into this season. Jackie Wangel will be the leader again this year on the offensive side of the field and will be supported by a pair of relative newcomers in Jillian Smart and Sarah Showell.
Beyond the strong core of seniors, Worcester Prep Coach Carol Hartnett will rely heavily on a talented junior class including Taylor Beauchamp, Laura Breslau, Austin Coates, Molly Dickerson, Sarah Gunion, Mary Hudson, Polly McNab, Kelly Meiser and Elizabeth Twilley.
The Worcester girls open their season this afternoon with a road game against St. Andrews and will play old rival Saints Peter and Paul on the road next Wednesday.
The Mallards will not play at home until next Friday, September 12, when they host Seaford Christian in the first of four straight home matches. The home stand also includes a date with ESIAC rival Salisbury School along with early season rematches with St. Andrews and Saints Peter and Paul.