Experienced Eagle girls look to thrive on pitch

Editor’s note: Mifflin County Christian Academy had not begun its soccer preseason in time to be included in The Sentinel’s annual fall preview guide. The school is not fielding a varsity boys team this year.

SHINDLE — Coming into the season, the Mifflin County Christian Academy girls soccer team will be looking to build off of the 5-4 record it tallied a year ago and will be bringing back most of its squad from last year’s team.

The Eagles will once again have coach Kirk Gentzel at the helm. He brings in a team that did not lose anyone to graduation last year and will be bringing a cohesive team that has had a lot of field time together.

“We have the basically the same team back from last year,” Gentzel said. “It’s pretty much the same squad except for a few new girls.”

Leading this year’s squad will be senior captain Emma Todd. The Eagles also have a few crucial underclass starters back from last year’s crew who, a year older, will be looked upon by the younger kids for leadership.

“Emma Todd is my returning captain. She is actually my one and only senior this year,” Gentzel said. “She is definitely one of my key returners. I have Cora Gentzel returning on offense. She will be one of my main attackers. We have a couple of sisters, Carly and Davi Ort, who will hold the midfield down, and Ashlyn Ort, who is probably one of my best defenders back there.”

Gentzel said he will also bring some new players into the mix this year who should see some playing time.

“We have a couple of new young players who came out this year. Sara Peachey is one and Christina Laub is another one who just came out. We also had a couple others that joined the team this year who will be fighting for some playing time. I think Megan Weyant and Sam Mitchell will also find themselves getting fighting for some playing time as well.”

Coming into the season, the third-year coach sees his older players as his team’s strength.

“One of the biggest strengths obviously will be that we haven’t lost anybody from last season,” Gentzel said. “This is the second year now that we brought back the same team that we had the years before. We started a couple years ago as a fairly young team. Being able to all be here will be bringing the experience and teamwork.”

Weaknesses are limited for this year’s crew.

“We’ve been working hard on trying to keep our heads up and be able to see the field a little bit better. Sometimes my girls don’t see the whole field and have their eyes down,” Gentzel said. “We’re trying to get them to keep their eyes up this year and be able to see where their going and who to pass to. See the opportunities that are out there.”

Goals for the Eagles this year are simple ones.

“Having a bunch of starters back from last year I would like to see us win the rest of our games this year,” Gentzel said. “Our goal is just to go out there and do the best that we can and hopefully have a real good season this year.”

Gentzel sees a lot of the same teams from last year that he thought we tough will be the same ones this year.

“The tough teams will be Centre County Christian, Northumberland Christian always plays tough. We usually have tough games against those two,” Gentzel said. ” We also have two new comers in JMS and Walnut Street Christian.”

The Eagles’ first game is today at Centre County Christian.