Ames High girls’ soccer team keeps on girls' soccer-ing

Ames High girls’ soccer kicks off this year with eight starters and sixteen letter winners returning from last year. “Most of us dressed with or played with varsity some last year. There aren’t really any new faces because we have all played with each other at some point in our lives. And there are a ton of juniors, but on the field we all have one grade, varsity, no matter if you’re a freshman or a senior.” said senior goalie Melissa Heitzman. This year the girls’ team is starting off strong, with a lot of hardworking and talented players. “The team’s strongest points are depth and experience, and we’ll spend most of our time working on being able to keep the ball close to us. Possession of the ball wins games,” coach Kenny Graham said. He also has high hopes for this year’s varsity team, “We have one goal. Win state.” Another of the team’s strengths seems to lie in their ability to get along. “We have good team, everybody gets along pretty well,” junior defender Sarah Brimeyer said. “Everyone fits in really well, we’re a great bunch of girls to be around, and we’re basically crazy together. The young ones are starting to see that.” Having a close team is important, with hopes as high as a win at state. “I know it’s the goal for everyone to make it to state. We feel like we have the skills to make it, but we also know it takes a lot of work on our part to get us there,” Heitzman said. Team practices begin at 3:30 and last until about 5:15 after school, and they make a point on working hard for the duration of the practice. “The first week we had two a day practices, and it was agility and conditioning in the mornings, and a lot of different drills in the afternoons.” Brimeyer said. The team also tries to keep an element of fun in their practices. “Work hard, play hard. We try and joke around as much as possible,” Graham said. The defense will be lead by seniors Kelsey Englin and Ruth Anderson. “Both are very smart players and look to play offense from their defensive position,” said Graham. At forward Beth Bystrom and Joanna Eggert are looking strong this year, “I’m expecting a lot of scoring from junior Beth Bystrom and sophomore Joanna Eggert. Both are very skilled, with Beth great in the air and Jo for her speed.” All in all, this year’s team seems to be ready for a great season. “This year is going to be a great year for Ames High girls’ soccer, everyone should come out and watch us!” said Heitzman.