NEWTON — Experience, quickness, new coaches and an infusion of young players have Newton girls’ soccer moving forward in 2014. The Cardinals are coming off of a 14-4-0 season in which they came up one game shy of going to the state tournament.
“We have 13 varsity players back from that team and a big freshman class coming in,” said Cathy Reiter, who takes over the NHS girls’ program this season. “We have an entirely new coaching staff, and we’re really excited and energetic going into this season.”
Reiter and her assistant coaches Mallory Sturtz and Hannah Davy are all new to Newton. Reiter played soccer for four years at Wartburg College in Waverly and graduated last May. Sturtz is a Newton native and a first-year teacher and coach at Newton. Davy is currently a senior at Central College in Pella and has played soccer for Central.
The Cardinals open the 2014 season Thursday, April 10, at Ballard followed by a tournament at Southeast Polk on Saturday, April 12. The girls’ home opener is a tournament April 19 at H.A. Lynn Stadium.
Newton went 5-2 in Little Hawkeye Conference play a year ago. The Cardinals open conference play at home against Knoxville on April 22.
The Cardinals return their top scorer and three-year starting goalkeeper in seniors Amber Karsten and Emily Forsyth, respectively. Newton scored 60 goals and only gave up 10 goals in the regular season in 2013.
Karsten earned first-team All-Little Hawkeye Conference honors as a forward last year. She led the Cardinals with 13 goals and six assists. Her 13 goals was fifth in the conference.
Forsyth allowed 11 goals while minding the net for the Cardinals last year. She had 63 saves for a .851 save percentage. Forsyth was named to the LHC second team.
Sophomore Victoria Jordan scored eight goals and had three assists as a forward for the Cardinals. She also earned second-team conference honors.
Defensively, Newton returns LHC second-team selections Michaela Jacobsen and Rylie Udelhoven, both juniors, and sophomore Hannah Rhoads, who earned honorable mention. Also back on the field for the Cardinals are seniors Bailey Beaderstadt and Skylar Seals; juniors Anna Barr, Macy Leonard, and Madison Dlouhy; and sophomore Taylor Moon.
“We have 11 seniors out for the team this year. We’re looking for a lot of leadership out of them,” Reiter said. “The girls have been working hard in practices. We have good overall team quickness, which will help up attack the goal and defend our goal.”
Newton opened last season on a 10-game win streak. The Cardinals pulled off a dramatic playoff win, 1-0, on a Moon goal in a second overtime period against Grinnell. That victory put Newton in the regional final against Pella. Pella beat Newton, 3-0, in the regional championship game to advance to the Class 2A state tournament.
Others on the team are seniors Paige Reed, Jaelyn Dougan, Desire Stuetelberg, Maria Carcaba, Dakotah Osborn, Demi Osborn and Michaela Woolaver; juniors Abby Morgan, Courtney Beckham, Somer Seals, Janelle Lewis, Katie Hadsall and Morgan Robson; and sophomores Alex Hutchinson, Dusti Antle, Resa Baltisberg, Kaelyn Sanders, Adrienne Bergman, Kari Adams, Stephanie Hobo, Allison Ergenbright and Fran Lucas.
Freshmen on the team are Hadley Braaksma, Kaytlin Ahn, Leah Thomas, Ashlee Freese, Madison Mann, Bridget Carson, Taylor Shipley, Ryanne Rausch, Morgan Allen, Courtney Jacobsen and Megan Van Dalen.