All-league forward returns to roster

Coach Skip Ashley is cautiously optimistic about what the coming soccer season will bring for his Enumclaw High Hornets.

Coach Skip Ashley is cautiously optimistic about what the coming soccer season will bring for his Enumclaw High Hornets.

“We have some quality returning players, but we also have some big holes to fill,” he said, following the team’s first week of practice.

One thing is for sure: Ashley hopes to avoid the type of decline that left last year’s team out of the playoff picture. Once sitting as high as second place in the South Puget Sound League 3A, too many tie games left the Hornets vulnerable; finally, a loss dropped the team from third to sixth place.

“I think we’ll definitely score more than we did last year,” the fourth-year coach said, “but, in the beginning, we may give up a few more goals as well.” Ashley has three new players on defense and a new goalkeeper, Pierce Beigh.

Experience comes in the form of senior Jordan Savage, an all-league forward a year ago, and Kent Sanner, a second-team all-league defender.

Ashley will see how his club responds to pressure beginning Saturday with a jamboree hosted by Auburn High. The early-season schedule has the Hornets going against a handful of larger, Class 4A opponents, beginning Monday when EHS hosts Olympia High. Other early contests are slated against 4A Kentwood and Tahoma.

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