Head coach: Kellie Palmer (first season). Assistant coach: Courtney Caswell.
Last year: Wheeler finished 0-13-3 and scored just two goals.
Returning to varsity:
Senior: Lauren Rockwell (D, captain), Juniors: Jessica Dawe (F), Kylie Groves (D, captain), Jessica Johnson (D). Sophomores: Norah Chapman (F), Addie Hauptmann (GK), Katelyn Melinosky (MF).
New to varsity:
Sophomores: Eva Comeau (F-MF), Leigha Dubois (MF), Leah Pois (D), Ute Zeeman (D). Freshmen: Val Barajas (F), Ava Davino (F), Makayla Delzer (G), Brooke Dowrey (MF-F), Aubrey DuBois (F), Keelan Groves (D), Madison Perkins (F), Marissa Perkins (D), Peach Schroeder (D), Cydney Sottile (F).
Outlook: If there is one thing Palmer, the new coach, will not tolerate this season it’s kick-and-run soccer.
She wants to see possession — and lots of it.
“I’ve been reteaching them everything about the game,” Palmer said. “They have been like sponges absorbing it all. They have already made improvements. They work harder than anybody I’ve ever seen. I have some very determined girls. It’s going to be fun to see them develop.”
Hauptmann was a first-team All-ECC Division IV selection last season at goalie.
Kylie Groves will be the leader of the backs in front of Hauptmann. Johnson, Rockwell, Pois and Keelan Groves will also play in the back
Melinosky will anchor the midfield.
“I am putting a lot of weight on her shoulders because she understands the game,” Palmer said. “She can communicate with the defense and Addie.”
Dowrey, Schroeder and Davino will play in the midfield. Comeau and Madison Perkins are up front.
Palmer fully expects the Lions to score more than two goals this season.
Coach’s take: “I would like for them to have fun. I just want them to be able to maintain possession, play their position and know where the ball needs to be played.”
— Keith Kimberlin