With new Head Coach Zach Akin at the helm, the E-gals soccer team will be looking to turn things around after a rough 2021 campaign.
Apollo finished with an overall record of 3-11 a year ago, winning games against Butler County, Muhlenberg County and Warren Central. The E-gals will have a good amount of upperclassmen coming back this season, as they are hoping to have that experience translate to the pitch.
Alana Rone and Jolie Foster will lead a large junior class, as Akin said that the duo will play a huge role offensively for them as well as providing key leadership to the program.
“Alongside them is sophomore Kara Green who we will be looking to continue her goal scoring tally from last year,” Akin said. “Defensively we have senior Aleia Henderson returning to help bring consistency and aggression across our back line.”
They will be joined by key newcomers in freshmen Kensli Yeiser and Haylee Phillips, two players that he expects to contribute on both sides of the field right away.
“Kensli will play a key role in the midfield for us this season and we will be looking for her to contribute on both sides of the ball,” Akin said. “Haylee will be contributing to a balanced backline and will be looking to help provide energy going forward from outside back.”
Akin is hoping that the returning group of players mixed with their newcomers will help them improve tremendously on the offensive side, as they want to create as many scoring opportunities as possible.
“Our main focus this year is to try and improve in goalscoring,” Akin said. “We have goals in place throughout the program each week and will be looking to improve in our ability to go forward, create chances, and score more goals this season.”
With a brand new coaching staff, establishing a culture is an immediate must for Akin and company. He’s pleased with the progress so far, saying that they will look to control the game and play with intensity on both sides of the pitch.
“With a completely new staff, the group will need to come together in order for us to succeed,” Akin said. “On the field, we are looking to play a more possession-based style to give ourselves the best opportunity to score goals. Lastly our fitness will play a key role in the pressure and style of play we are looking to play this season.”
Despite knowing that the E-gals will have some growing pains this season, Akin has high expectations for the group in 2022. With a blend of new and old faces on the roster, he believes that they will be able to shake things up in district play with an attack-first mindset.
“With our large group of upperclassmen and sprinkling in some new faces, we expect to have a revamped season from last year,” Akin said. “We are looking to be attack-minded and provide goals from different areas of the field. We are looking to progress from last season and build on our performances from game-to-game.”