By Amanda Perkins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
“We spent most of last year outlining the base and learning the game, so this year my goal is to continue to build our foundation,” said West Plains Lady Zizzer soccer coach Jada Martin. Martin enters her fourth year coaching soccer and second year at the helm of the Lady Zizzer program.
“We have almost all of our whole team from last year,” said Martin. “We will be able to grow and have amazing upperclassmen in the years to come to help those starting out.”
The team lost starting striker and forward Greta Grisham to graduation. “She was a hard worker who contributed on both sides of the ball,” said Martin.
Returning players include senior captain Kylie Kittrell, a natural leader who ran the Lady Zizzer defense and earned the defense award for the year. Senior Brynn Watson returns as goalie after a year averaging seven saves per game. “Brynn never gives up,” said Martin. “She tries over and over again. She’s a quick learner and is never afraid to react.”
Sophomores Lexus Casey, Isabella Ovalle, Kennedy Keller, and Baleigh Miller are also back.
“Keller improves both our offense and defense,” said Martin. “She can play any position I need and is always a solid player when she’s on the field. Miller is a defender and back-up goalie. She’s aggressive and always gives her all.”
“Last year, we started with a brand-new group, and so it took a few games to become a team,” said Martin. “But once we did, we really grew. I will expect more unity this coming season, and I have high expectations for Kittrell, Ovalle, and Casey. All three are great leaders. Kittrell leads our defense, while Casey and Ovalle lead our offense. If we can focus on our passing and ball skills, I have no doubt we would put up great competition.”
The Lady Zizzers open their season at Marshfield on March 21.