Warriors’ girls soccer returns 10 starters to the pitch

RON JOHNSTON, The Marietta Times Warren’s Taylor Sloan (8) handles the ball during a high school girls soccer match against Parkersburg High last season in Vincent.

VINCENT — Warren High is hoping to make a deeper run in the postseason tournament this upcoming season.

Last year, the Warriors, 7-8-3, blanked visiting Athens High, 3-0, in a girls’ soccer Division II sectional opener before bowing out at top-seed Fairfield Union.

“The girls are motivated to build off of our seven wins last year to compete for a district title this year,” said second-year WHS girls soccer head coach Andy Pinkerton.

Warren graduated just three players (Emarie Smathers, Shelby Lofty, and Emma Rader) from last fall’s squad, and return 10 of 11 starters. This season, the royal blue and white varsity roster will be featuring 10 seniors.

“Even though our lineup will most likely be a little different this year, we will be more experienced and a lot deeper,” Pinkerton said. “And, we have our top four goal scorers returning.”

Senior midfielder Taylor Vickers led the Warrior booters with seven goals and seven assists. Sophomore striker Taylor Sloan, who scored on two corner kick headers in last season’s sectional lid-lifter, also had seven goals and finished with three assists. Sophomore striker Allison Werry added seven goals and two assists, and junior striker Brooke Holdren, three goals and four assists.

During summer play, Warren competed in the Maysville Soccer Shootout and the Zane Trace Super Scrimmages, and posted a combined record of 4-1-1.

“We performed very well,” Pinkerton said. “We were able to outscore our opponents 11-3 in that span.

“We had eight different goal scorers in those games which makes us more dangerous as a team. Warren will not be relying upon one individual to save the team. Our opponents will have to mark everyone on the field.”

On D, the Warriors look solid again with the return of junior defenders’ Sommer Saboley, senior Morgan Chapman, senior Sophie Knapp, senior Kayleigh Hutchinson and senior Olivia Shutts.

Between the pipes will be senior keeper Madison Miller, who finished with 76 saves and was credited with six clean sheets last season. She allowed an average of 1.2 goals per match.

“By the end of last year, we developed a very tenacious defense,” Pinkerton said.

Pinkerton said that Warren has “strengthened” its 2018 schedule.

“We’ve added a Jackson scrimmage, Unioto (2017 district champions), Minford (a 12-win team last year, and Waverly (a 9-win team last year) among our regular grueling games against Marietta, Athens, Alexander, Williamstown, and Parkersburg,” the coach said.

Concluded Pinkerton, “Coach (Ryan) Werry and I believe that we are much deeper than last year with high-quality players who will be able to contribute from the bench as well. Warren will definitely be competing at a high level this season.”