Five seniors didn’t get the chance to play one final season on the pitch in 2020.
Last year’s spring sports’ season were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And as Abby Lamont begins her seventh season as Newton’s girls’ soccer coach, the Cardinals will have an experienced roster who took losing last year’s season hard.
“We are super excited,” Lamont said. “Losing last season was tough on them. But we have lots of experience and should have a strong team this season.”
The Cardinals were 9-8 in 2019 and finished 4-3 in Little Hawkeye Conference play. It was the first time Newton did not reach double-digit wins in a while, but the Cardinals recorded at least 12 wins the six seasons prior, making the state tournament in both 2016 and 2017.
Newton reached the regional finals in 2018 when it finished 12-6. The 2017 team was 13-4 and the 2016 squad finished 13-4.
“We have been hitting the turf a lot and we have been getting our feet on the ball quite a bit,” said Lamont, who begins her seventh season as head coach.
Headlining this year’s team are senior Nykole Hernandez and juniors Aurora Nehring and Brynn Cazett.
Cazett earned second team all-conference honors as a freshman after making 21 starts and scoring 30 points. She ranked second on the team with 13 goals and tied for fourth with four assists.
Both Hernandez and Nehring were honorable mention all-conference picks.
Nehring is back as the team’s goalie. She made 21 starts as a freshman, spent 1,100 minutes between the pipes and allowed just 11 goals. She stopped 125 shots for a 92 save percentage and recorded eight shutouts.
Hernandez is back in the defensive backfield. She made 18 starts as a sophomore and was credited with one assist.
Junior Madi Altemeier also is back on the Cardinals’ defense. She made 21 starts, scoring two goals and delivering two assists in 2019.
Junior Morgan Peterson was injured as a freshman but not before making 12 starts and contributing one goal and one assist.
Senior Riley Davidson is expected to take over a bigger role on defense after making five starts as a sophomore.
Joining Cazett as players who are expected to make an impact in the scoring zones are senior Haley Fuller and sophomores Audrey Rausch and Emma Lopez-Garcia.
Like every other year, Lamont expects the LHC to be super competitive. DCG and Pella are always in the state rankings and Norwalk and Pella Christian are teams Lamont expects to be formidable, too.
Back as Lamont’s assistant coach is Susan Altemeier, who begins her third season.
Varsity Girls Soccer Schedule
April 6 — Knoxville, 5:30 p.m.
April 8 — Ballard, 7 p.m.
April 9 — Marshalltown, 7 p.m.
April 13 — Oskaloosa, 5:30 p.m.
April 15 — Des Moines Christian, 7 p.m.
April 17 — Home Tournament, 11:30 a.m.
April 20 — Pella, 7 p.m.
April 27 — Norwalk, 7 p.m.
April 30 — Perry, 7 p.m.
May 1 — Van Meter, Noon
May 4 — Pella Christian, 5:30 p.m.
May 7 — Grinnell, 5:30 p.m.
May 11 — Indianola, 7 p.m.
May 14 — Clarke, 7 p.m.
May 18 — DCG, 7 p.m.
May 21 — Boone, 7 p.m.
May 28 — Regionals, 6:30 p.m., TBA
Home matches in bold