Indians united and ready for another deep playoff run
Molalla knows what it takes to go on a playoff run.
The Indians reached the state semifinals for three straight seasons: 2015, 2016 and 2017.
And Molalla coach Nina Wegner believes the Indians have the talent to again battle the state's best.
"I'm really excited about this year and I think the girls really are, too," Wegner said. "We've got some really good seniors. The best thing is we've got some really good attitudes."
Senior Madeline Lisac, voted a team captain this season, played on the 2016 and 2017 teams.
"She knows what it takes to get that far," Wegner said. "She's a great leader."
Lisac, who was voted Second Team all-league last year, will start at forward along with Molalla's other captain, junior Holly Rae, who is moving from center mid.
"Her life is soccer," said Wegner of Rae, who was First Team all-league last season. "She's a tremendous player. She's super fast and can just move really well with that ball. She leads by example. She's a great friend to all of the girls, and she's one of those girls that will do anything for the team."
Molalla returns three midfielders: Hannah Nelzen, Kaityn Curry and Anneliese Hugo.
Cayla Peeples and Audriahna Greer, who both missed much of last season with injuries, are back on defense. Sophomore Annika Molina will also play on the back line.
"I feel like I have a solid team everywhere and I'm very confident where everybody is playing," Wegner said. "That's really exciting."
Molalla also return its goalkeeper: senior Raelynne Nogle.
"Every year she's gotten stronger," Wegner said. "She was very shy her freshman year. It's crazy to see how much she's blossomed. Now she's just one of the girls and four years ago she was a totally different person. She's more confident this year, which is always great, especially back in goal."
The Indians were 8-1-1 in the Tri-Valley Conference last season with their tie and loss both coming to league champion Gladstone.
"This is the most excited I've been with the whole group," said Wegner, who is entering her fourth year at Molalla. "Every year it gets harder and harder to see these girls go. All the seniors I've been with them since they were freshmen. I've seen their entire journey. My goal is to help them have an amazing senior year. We want to inspire each other and lift each other up and go as far as we can, and have the best soccer season we can. We'd never had such a united group. They're all on the same page. They all know what it takes."
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