Simpson, seniors lead Panther soccer
Led by a resilient group of seniors, Wilmot Union High School coach John Watson hopes the Panther girls soccer team can withstand a rigorous Southern Lakes Conference slate this season.
The Panthers, who return nearly all of their starters, already received contributions from two of their 11 seniors in a 2-0 shutout of East Troy April 11.
Along with forward Deja Simpson, who committed to play soccer at North Central College, defender McKenna Stanek scored for Wilmot, which snapped a four-game skid to start the season.
“(Deja) has been a strong player for us the last four years and am very happy she got that goal against East Troy,” said Watson. “They are playing strong soccer, against East Troy, Stanek and Simpson got us goals.”
Simpson received honorable mention all-conference last year.
Like Simpson and Stanek, Watson believes in rest of the senior-laden team, which includes starters Meghan Biba (goalie), Devin Coleman (defender), Baylee Chappell (defender), Delaney Dvorak (midfield) and Alexa Lewis (midfielder).
“Our seniors are our core seniors and they have been great leaders,” Watson said.
Meanwhile, sophomore midfielder Keegan Destree, junior midfielder Taylor Dewing, junior forward Bailey Peterson and junior forward Madison Bailey offer reinforcements on the starting lineup.
Of the underclassmen, Watson has been impressed with Destree’s development on field, where she is reportedly meshing well with the seniors.
“I think Keegan Destree has really stepped up her game and she mixes in well with our seniors and has a lot of maturity on the field,” Watson said.
Rounding out the team are seniors Delaney Sjong (midfielder), Morgan Robinson (forward), Kathryn Wagner (defender) and Samantha Edmonds (goalie, defender).
Juniors on the team are Montana Peterson (goalie) and Kordan Kopp (defender).
The team, which finished 3-11-2 (1-6-2 SLC) a year ago, hopes to see continuous improvements as the season progresses.
“Our conference is a very strong conference and we fielded a pretty strong out of conference,” said Watson, noting the team’s 1-4 start. “Although we had tough games, we played strong.”