Season opening success

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Kickers opened the season with their first win in a 2-0 shutout at Waterford Kettering High School, March 22.
“I was happy,” said Damian Huffer, head coach for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Soccer team. “The conditions played a big part. There were a few areas of improvement but as a first start with a fairly new team it was a pretty, good exercise. Plus, we had three of our regular starters missing – Caylee Ludwig, Michaela Rodriquez and Abby Mason.”
The Wolves controlled the majority of the play during the game.
With 21 minutes remaining in the first half, senior Annika Karlstrom put a shot on the Captains’ net – it didn’t make it in.
The next shot on goal two minutes later from senior Paige Oliverio made it in the net for the team, it went to the top of the net and in for a 1-0 lead for the Wolves.
The Wolves scored their second goal by senior Sonja Kinal from freshman Emily Horne in the second half.
“Emily is a good player,” said Huffer about the center forward. “She beat a coupld of players and got the ball in the box for a penalty kick. Then, Sonja stepped up and put the PK away.”
They return from spring break with a game at Avondale on Tuesday.
“It will be another game which will hopefully give us a chance to get another win to build the girls confidence and testing a few formations,” said Huffer. “I am trying to get the girls comfortable in different formations and new positions which they have been really receptive to and have worked really hard. The kids are enjoying it which is really all you can ask for.”
They open the OAA White league game against Oxford, April 11.
“It should be a really competitive league,” Huffer said. “I think any team in the division can say they have a chance of winning – it’s going to be that tight. It should be good. It will be a case of who turns up. It will be a lot of one goal games or ties.”

Senior Annika Karlstrom holds control in midfield and brings the ball back into Waterford Kettering’s territory. Photo by Wendi Reardon Price

He added the team will be more attack minded this season.
“We have enough quality and formation,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a higher ratio on chances. In the past, we have created plenty of chances but just haven’t taken as many as we need to. Prime example was last year against Holly – we had about 30 chances and scored on three. It’s not going to get much done when you play these competitive teams. A higher percentage of chances will be a massive difference this year. Build up the play and the finishing from everyone has to improve. We have a great goal keeper, strong defense and solid scorers.”
He added the schedule has a good mix of competition which will help not only during league play but preparing for the playoffs. He added what also will help this season is the girls work hard.
“They are a great group of girls,” Huffer said. “We graduated five seniors and four were starters and we lost Callie Dickens as well. We replaced five starters. This year we took 19 on the roster, but we had 45 try out which is more than previous years. Having a deeper bench should make a difference.”
JV plays at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.