With 11 letter winners returning, the Swanton girls soccer team will look to improve its Northwest Ohio Athletic League standing this fall.
The Bulldogs were 1-4-1 in the league last season, but were not far from a different outcome. All of Swanton’s league losses were by one goal and they tied league co-champion Evergreen.
Head coach Kenda Gustafson said her squad works well as a team and listed passing and runs off the ball as other strengths.
Leading the returnees is senior Megan Haselman, who was named honorable mention all-league and all-district last season. Seniors Alaina Pelland, Alexis Taylor and Alaina Mersing also return.
Returning juniors are Kyleigh Shinivar and Kaleigh Boyd. Sophomores back are Miranda Yeager, Jessica Finfera, Maddy Dodd, Keagan Young, and Lily Wilson.
Frankie Nelson, who was first team all-league and Jayden Hendricks, who was second team all-league are among the players lost from last season. Others are Carol Vargas, Riley Bellner, Emma Sullivan, Brianna Mersing, and Macy Pawlowicz.
Gustafson listed Bailey DeKoeyer, Hailey Keefer, Lauren Bettinger, Alexia Ostrander, Payton Detray, Anna Rukieh, and Madelaine Diaz as promising newcomers that could help make up for some of those losses.
The coach said a lot of players will be playing in new roles on the team this season, which could be a weakness. They will have to work to understand and master those roles on the field.
Gustafson said the Bulldogs have a competitive team and will do well this season.
“I believe we could bring the title home or at least put up a good fight to position us well in the league,” said Gustafson. “We’re hoping to cut a couple of our one-goal differential losses to wins this season.”
The Bulldogs open league play Aug. 25 at home against Archbold.