SPRING PREVIEW: New coach, new faces for Manistee girls soccer

Manistee’s 2018 varsity girls soccer team. Front row, from left: Irene Jara, Makayla Alcayde, Lily Sandstedt, Billie Gajewski and Alora Sundbeck. Second row, from left: Tatum Liston, Nicole Weaver, Tiffany Elo, Amanda Deisch, Nevaeh Mannon, Olivia Smith and Amber Miller. Back row, from left: Heidi Feliczak, Maggie Blevins, Amanda Peddie, Hayley Anderson, Kiera Raymond, Heather Antal and head coach Jaclyn Trahan. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Manistee’s 2018 varsity girls soccer team. Front row, from left: Irene Jara, Makayla Alcayde, Lily Sandstedt, Billie Gajewski and Alora Sundbeck. Second row, from left: Tatum Liston, Nicole Weaver, Tiffany Elo, Amanda Deisch, Nevaeh Mannon, Olivia Smith and Amber Miller. Back row, from left: Heidi Feliczak, Maggie Blevins, Amanda Peddie, Hayley Anderson, Kiera Raymond, Heather Antal and head coach Jaclyn Trahan. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee girls soccer will have a new look in 2018, starting at the top.

Head coach Jaclyn Trahan will take the reins of the program after serving as junior-varsity coach for the past two years.

Trahan will field an experienced but young team this year, having lost just four seniors from last year’s squad, but will have some big shoes to fill.

Key starters lost include 3-year starting goalkeeper Briana Larsen and athletic midfield mainstay Georgia Hiipakka.

Sophomore Lily Sandstedt will likely be the new starting keeper.

But the cupboard is not bare, as returning starter Tatum Liston will anchor what Trahan hopes will be a very aggressive midfield. Look for Manistee to pressure the ball up high, and hope to win balls in the midfield for quick counterattacks, rather than building from the back.

“We definitely want to be high-pressure,” Trahan said. “We’re still looking at four in the back, but we have more offensive players this year than defensive, so we’re working hard on conditioning so they can stay in longer.”

Other key contributors will include seniors Maggie Blevins, Amanda Deisch, Heidi Feliczak, Hayley Anderson and sophomore Makayla Alcayde. Blevins and Deisch are returning defenders, and will likely anchor the back line again this year.

But there will be a few new faces aside from Trahan, as freshmen Alora Sundbeck and Olivia Smith will feature on the varsity roster.

The Chippewas will not do a lot of rotating, and their starting eleven will be called upon to play the bulk of the games.

That will lead to better flow as a unit, as the layers will become very familiar with one another, but it will also require a special emphasis on getting into game shape and staying there throughout the year.

“I’m not big on subbing unless they need a quick little breather,” Trahan said. “If they’re out there giving that effort, working hard, I want to leave them in.”

The 2017 squad struggled through a 3-14-1 season, but did win a dramatic 4-3 game in penalty kicks in the first round of districts, which showed the promise of good things in the future.

“We won’t have perfect games, but we want to give a perfect effort,” Trahan said. “That’s one of our biggest goals, in practice and in games. We want to have that perfect effort.”

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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