Head coach Dana Scott has little idea how her Ripon High School girls’ soccer team will start the season this year.

Although practice began last week Monday, most of her players departed for Florida as part of the band and choir trip two days later.

They return in time for one practice before the first game, which is Thursday against Wautoma.

“We have had some good practices with the nine players left behind, but I expect the first game to be pretty difficult as most of the starters from last year struggle to get going,” Scott said.

The Tigers may have to rely on senior goalkeeper Alissa Balke a bit more than they would like to in the early going, but the returning second-team all-conference player also has been in Florida, so Scott has yet to see her in action.

“She jumped in goal last year with no experience and did great, so I am hoping that even with a late start she can pick right up where she left off,” Scott said.

Ripon does return several starters from last year beside Balke, including seniors Aubrey Schoff, Esther Rodman, and Nalani Amsden. The three players often formed the spine of the team, with Schoff a central defender, Rodman a holding midfielder and Amsden an attacking midfielder.

Juniors Kendra Block and Nicole Rainey have played the wide defender positions in the past and sophomore Sarah Rodman is likely to be featured in the attack again.

Read the full story in the April 2, 2015 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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