BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS – By all accounts, the Woods Cross girls’ soccer team had an unexpected season last year.
They entered the 4A playoffs as a No. 3 seed from Region 6, and proceeded to march their way into the semi-finals, ultimately losing 3-1 to eventual champion Bonneville.
That under-the-radar type of success has brought on some attention to this year’s team, and coach Dave Newman said he’s perfectly fine with it.
“Having the season we had, we got some immediate attention from it,” he said. “We had the focus, the drive, and the preparation to get to where we were last year. I’ve already seen some of the players look very relaxed, and at the same time they’re very excited for the season to get started.”
The team’s relaxed atmosphere is likely due to the number of returning players to this year’s team. At the net, Aubree Peterson and Abby Hoffman will be back and will serve as a pair of solid stoppers.
Peterson is a senior, and Hoffman is a junior.
A quartet of key players will return to the Lady Wildcats this season, all of whom had important roles in the team’s run to the semi-finals. Lauren Gibson, Ashlyn Farnes, Eden Jacobsen and Kyra Fawcett will be important pieces to the puzzle in their respective positions.
Fawcett and Farnes will continue to be looked to as goal-scorers. The duo ended 2012 as the top two scoring players, combining for 29 goals.
Fawcett’s season has garnered attention from the University of Oregon, and earned her 4A All-State honors.
“They are going to be a key to our success,” said Newman. “They did so well for us last season and have continued to work hard in the offseason to prepare for this season.”
Newman said the one thing the Wildcats will have is a lot of juniors and a tough preseason schedule. With so many juniors having played as freshman and sophomores, he said, they’ve already built up the experience needed to compete in what is now a face-lifted Region 6.
“We’ll have to be more prepared for the expanded region, and there are teams in here that aren’t pushovers,” said Newman. “Clearfield is one of those teams. They definitely aren’t the same team they were when they first came to the region, and the extra teams means we have to ready to play region games earlier.”
The face-lifted region now includes Kearns, which moved down from 5A’s Region 2, and Judge Memorial. Judge plays in 3A’s North division during football season, but will play in 4A’s Region 6 in all other sports.
As far as goals are concerned, Newman just wants to make sure the team works hard, plays harder, and has fun.
“They better have fun out there,” he said. “This is going to be one of the best teams we’ve fielded in a few years, and having good team spirit and a good unity is going to make this a great season.”
The Lady Wildcats finished 11-7 in 2012, and were 6-4 in Region 6.
Wildcats 2013 schedule*
8-22 @ Kearns
8-29 @ Highland
9-5 @ East
9-10 Judge Memorial
9-12 @ Bountiful
9-19 @ Clearfield
9-26 @ Cyprus
10-3 @ Judge Memorial
*This story was amended to reflect a schedule change to the girls' soccer team.