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Where have all the Carla Porrasâ€™ gone?
The days of Jackie Iannucci, Katie Riley, Dolci Wagner and all the players that helped lead the Narragansett girls soccer team to back-to-back Division III Championships have gone and past as only a handful of players remain that had significant roles on those title teams.
Donâ€™t shed a tear for the Mariners though, because they certainly arenâ€™t.
â€śItâ€™s no secret to any of the girls that have been on the team that in the last two years weâ€™ve lost the bulk of our team,â€ť Narragansett coach Kathryn Mahoney says. â€śThatâ€™s very obvious. Itâ€™s first of all understanding that but then moving forward and not dwelling on it.
â€śWeâ€™ve lost some key players on this team, but our goal is to work with what we have and my goal as a coach is to bring the best out of the group that we have.â€ť
If thereâ€™s one thing thatâ€™s initially apparent about this group is its size â€“ or lack thereof â€“ as Narragansett will boast a smaller rotation than they have in years past.
â€śWe definitely donâ€™t have the depth that we used to in years past,â€ť Mahoney says, â€śbut I think the girls are doing a nice job of doing the things we need to work on.â€ť
As far as what her team is going to look like when it takes the field Mahoney is not entirely sure as position battles are still taking shape.
She did say, however, that seniors Cat Tierney, Grace Castro, Jamiee Barber and Stephanie Marsh â€“ who returns this season after taking a year away from soccer last fall â€“ will have significant roles as leaders on the team as the Marinersâ€™ lone seniors.
â€śI most definitely will be relying on those [seniors] especially because theyâ€™ve been on the team,â€ť Mahoney says, â€śnot only as role models but basically as vocal leaders.
â€śâ€¦I need anyone who has experience on the team to support the other players and make sure theyâ€™re there for the other players.â€ť
The junior class â€“ led by standout striker Chelsea Sahagian â€“ will need to have a similar role as a number of underclassmen could find themselves thrust into playing time immediately.
Juniors Christiana Tucker, Sarah Lubic, Ceili Oâ€™Connell, Alison Stone and Makayla Sawdy are also returners from the varsity that bring valuable experience having been a part of the program in Division III that went through the jump up in competition a season ago to Division II.
â€śI have a nice group of seniors that fortunately has been a part of those state championship teams and last year they experienced playing in Division II,â€ť Mahoney says. â€śTheir experience is valuable to the team.
â€śYou canâ€™t teach experience and you canâ€™t coach that. Iâ€™m heavily relying on my upperclassmen to help pave the way. I literally need almost every player on the team.â€ť
The Mariners will have one week to figure out how their rotation will shake out before the regular season begins.
Narragansett scrimmaged Portsmouth Wednesday afternoon, play Coventry Saturday morning in an Injury Fund game at Exeter-West Greenwich and wrap up the preseason Monday at 4:40 p.m. when it hosts Division III Chariho.
The Mariners open the regular season Friday, Sept 6 at 4 p.m. when they travel to Cranston Stadium to take on Cranston East.