Sports

Red Wolves have goals set high

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DUVALL - The Cedarcrest High Schools girls' soccer team has a different attitude and a new set of goals this year that they hope will help them get to the state championship, according to first-year head coach Robert Johnson.

To help them achieve that, he made a "soccer corner" in his language arts classroom at Cedarcrest. Posted on the wall is a list of the team's goals, along with team members' names and pictures.

Before the season, the team came up with three benchmarks. The first is what Johnson calls "achievable," and those include finishing the season at .500 or above, playing well against the powerhouses - Bellevue, Newport and Mercer Island - and scoring in every game.

"More difficult goals," but ones still attainable, are not only to make the state playoffs, as they did last year, but to win in the first round. That's something the Red Wolves have neglected to do in the previous two years against Bellevue.

The last set of goals, those "pushing it to the limit," are what Johnson said will take an enormous amount of effort and luck, but are still possible with the right attitude. That includes going undefeated, beating Liberty, last year's league champions, and advancing past the rounds where they play KingCo League teams in the state playoffs.

"They all work really hard and really want to please me, and I think there's an even stronger desire to win," Johnson said of his athletes. "There's some great senior leadership. There are no attitude conflicts, and the overall team chemistry is really excellent."

Their fitness and stamina will also be key. Half of the girls kept in shape during the offseason playing club soccer, while others stayed active in other sports, such as track and field and basketball.

"They're soccer buffs play all year and play basketball, as well. The only difference is they're dribbling with their hands instead of with their feet," Johnson said.

The team plays its first league game against Mercer Island at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Tolt Field in Carnation. It will host Mount Si at 8 p.m. on Saturday, also at Tolt Field.

Becky Christopherson can be reached at (425) 888-2311, or e-mail her at becky.christopherson@valleyrecord.com.

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