Leadership is something that can’t always be measured in a tangible manner.
The Interlake Saints girls soccer squad, which is led by senior captains Jenny Kane, Malia Allison and Lili Tansley, are determined to lead their team to the playoffs during their final season of high school soccer in 2016.
Kane, who plays attacking midfielder for the Saints, enjoys being one of the leaders of the Saints.
“I have been with the program for four years. Being a captain is basically my opportunity to really give back to the program,” Kane said.
The Saints youthful roster consists of five sophomores and four freshman on the varsity team.
“I think we are going to take it a step at a time this year because we have a very young team so we’re not entirely sure exactly how we are going to stand in comparison to the other teams that we will face, but definitely will play as hard as we can and play to our full potential,” Kane said at practice on Sept. 12.
Allison, who scored a team-high nine goals during the 2015 season, believes the youthful players on the roster bring a strong skill-set to the field.
“I think we can definitely win a lot more games than we did last year. I think we are going to improve because we have a lot of young talent that is really going to make a difference on the team,” Allison said.
Interlake head coach Kirk Tavener has unveiled new defense this fall. In years past, the Saints had four defenders but have switched to a 3-5-2 formation featuring three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards. Tansley is one of those three players starting at defender in the new setup.
“Coach (Kirk Tavener) is super excited about the new formation. In our last game (Sept. 8 against Kentwood) we felt like we began to execute the system and it was really exciting for us,” Tansley said. “We have been practicing a lot and is something we have been working on hard together.”
As of press time, the Saints have an overall record of 0-5-1.
Kane said the offense is still ahead of the defense at this point of the season.
“I think our attack (offense) is what is stronger at this point. Naturally I think we are a very offensive oriented team but we are definitely trying to step up and execute our back three (defenders) before anything else,” Kane said.
The Saints say Tavener is the kind of coach who pushes the team hard but cares about each player immensely at the same time.
“In the past few years there has been a very big focus on our endurance. We have ran a lot of 120s (sprints). Tavener is a good coach and he cares a lot about the girls on the team as individuals. He cares a lot about what is going on in our lives,” Tansley said.