By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– With the eve of the first practice on the horizon, South Salem Girls soccer wrapped up their final tune-up before try-outs start Monday.
They were doing some mini-games that helped create team chemistry, working on the fundamentals like footwork and the 1v1’s during this past week before the real work begins in preparation for the season ahead as they look to fill the void left by nine graduated seniors from their 9-2-1 Spring season this past March into April.
“We talked a lot about last year, not just the high-quality of soccer players that we have but the high-quality of kids that we have. This camp and getting these kids to fill that void and watching different girls step up and take their spot, provide that new face of leadership will be really fun,” said fifth-year Head Coach Tillerman Kroon. “We’ve seen a lot of those girls step up and fill that leadership role and it’s been fun.”
The challenge to fill the void isn’t new for the Saxons program, having graduated eight girls two-years ago, it’s just a matter of getting up to speed going into the season.
“I think we did a pretty good job rebuilding our team (last year), we lost nine seniors the year before too so we had a lot of gaps too in our play. In our practices we really focused on a really good team aspect instead of more of the individual aspect. We really focused on our fitness, dribbling and shooting and attacking and we scored a lot more goals than we would’ve if we hadn’t done that,” said incoming senior Kaitlyn Jones.
South Salem matched West Salem’s offensive production with 37 goals while permitting eight defensively as the Saxons hope to duplicate the Spring 2021 success into this Fall. Try-outs start Monday with a jamboree on August 27 and South Salem opening up the 2021 season hosting Southridge on September 2.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald