Washington gets fresh start

Bryan Veginski

Washington is a girls soccer team in transition.

It figures to be much better in the end than it is in the beginning of the 2008 season.

The Lady Panthers lost some key seniors as well as a couple others who decided not to come out for soccer this year.

“We have quite a few new players,” said second-year WCHS head coach Suzanne Arterburn. “It will be interesting to see how well they develop.”

Junior sweeper Shanley McGlaughlin and midfielders Caitlin Heberer, a senior, and Kathleen O’Brien, a sophomore, will be counted upon for their experience and leadership.

McGlaughlin was a second-team all-Mid-Illini Conference performer in ’07.

Additionally, two girls who are out also will help in those areas when they return.

The rest of the roster includes: seniors — Casey Best, Carrie Bunting and Tamiris Bergstrom; juniors — Stephanie Johnson, Brittany Lawrence, Dani Filock, Valerie Wetterauer and Alyssa Robison.

Sophomores — Raechel Overly, Rachel St. Clair, Maureen Minehan, Kirsten Tervo, Moriah Peterson, Chelsea Chockley, Celeste Chockley and Amanda Henderson; and freshman Hannah Norris.

Peterson, a defender, joined McGlaughlin on the all-league second team.

Overly and Filock will be the top options to take over in the goalkeeper role.

Arterburn hopes the players will stay positive as they navigate through the season.

“This is the start to a new season,” she said. “We just have to learn to play together to improve our skill level.”

Washington was 10-8-1 last spring and placed fourth in the Mid-Illini with a 6-5-1 mark.

Michelle Rhoades, Lauren Dinkheller and Ashley Jacobson were among the key players lost to graduation.

Rhoades was an all-league selection four times, including twice on the first team (’04, (’07 - unanimous).

Jacobson served as the keeper for the previous three seasons.

Dinkheller was a varsity fixture for three years in the midfield.

Princeton 2, WCHS 0: The Lady Panthers began their season March 20 with a 2-0 road loss.

The Tigresses recorded both of their goals in the first half in the non-conference matchup.

Overly made seven saves, but Princeton turned away all three Washington shots.

Metamora 7, WCHS 0: The Lady Panthers were handed a home defeat March 25 in the conference opener for both teams.

The Redbirds raced to a 6-0 by halftime and allowed just two shots on goal.

Three first-half tallies by Metamora came in a nine-minute span to make it a four-goal difference.

From the first game to the third (including a junior-varsity match), Arterburn said she noticed improvement, especially from the newcomers.

Illinois Valley Central 4, WCHS 0: The Lady Panthers fell on the road March 29.

The Grey Ghosts outshot Washington 13-5 to earn a non-league win.

Overly made 10 saves in goal for the Lady Panthers. She also faced four corner kicks.

Lincoln 4, WCHS 0: The Lady Panthers still are searching for their first goal, but are coming closer.

“We played really good (March 31),” said Arterburn. “We got six-seven good shots on goal.”

Washington faced a 20 mph crosswind and later rainy conditions in Lincoln.

The Railsplitters registered two scores in each half to win for the first time in ’08.

Filock and Overly took turns defending the Lady Panther goal and faced a plethora of shots.

Arterburn said she was encouraged by what she saw offensively in the team’s first opportunity to make attacks,