MHS girls soccer returns talent, has high expectations

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Marietta High’s Lexie Mullen, right, battles teammate Paige Hartley, left, for the ball during a practice drill last week in Devola.

DEVOLA — Marietta High has raised the bar and will be seeking a deeper run in the D2 girls’ soccer playoffs this fall.

With the talent that the Tigers have, there’s really no reason why they can’t accomplish their goals.

“I just like the trajectory so far,” said veteran MHS head coach Jeff Price. “It’s a really great group of girls. They all get along.”

Last season, Marietta posted a 9-6-3 overall record. (11-6-1 the year before) In the postseason, the Tigers bowed out to Jackson High at Holzer Field in Alumni Stadium, dropping a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime decision to the state-ranked Ironladies.

“I felt that we outplayed them, but we made a couple of errors,” Price said.

From that team, Marietta High graduated some good ones, like for instance Kaleigh Stewart and Embrey Roberts, who is now playing at Marietta College.

“We get to miss people every year,” Price said.

This year’s Tigers quad will be featuring three co-captains in senior mid Grace Crosby, junior keeper Brooke Heiss, and junior striker Lexie Mullen.

Crosby is a very versatile soccer player, who can play pretty much anywhere on the pitch. A year ago, she scored three goals.

Heiss has been an orange and black starter between the pipes since she was a freshman. Sure-handed and fearless, she’s made herself a better keeper every season.

As for Mullen, she’ll be the go-to person on offense. In many ways, as she goes, so go the Tigers. Last year, she led the team in scoring with 22 goals and four assists.

A team-first kind of player, Mullen is fast with good ball skills, and has a nose for the goal. She’s been the team’s leading scorer since she was a frosh. Thing is, though, she’s also an excellent passer and playmaker.

“Hopefully, we’re going to add more scorers,” Price said. “That would definitely help.”

A couple of other Tigers to keep an eye on will be junior mid Emily Mendenhall (4 goals, 4 assists) and sophomore defender Maria Pfaff.

“All of the girls have been bringing their level of play up,” Price said. “Practices are a little bit more intense and overall the play is more cohesive.”

Amy Mendenhall said that the girls are “highly motivated.”

“They’re eager to work, and that means a lot,” added the MHS assistant coach.