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Lady Eagles have nucleus for another SFL soccer run

Key players return for defending league champions
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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As far as wins and losses go, Del Oro girls soccer coach Ron Benjamin isn’t fretting over his Lady Eagles’ current 1-3 early season start.

“We’re actually playing pretty well,” said Benjamin about his 2013 Lady Eagles squad. “We’ve played a tough schedule and lost three one-goal matches. We’re actually a lot better than our record indicates.”

A year ago, Benjamin’s squad used a stingy defense as the impetus to deliver a Sierra Foothill League championship season. Del Oro, which allowed only two goals in 10 SFL matches, finished with a record of 4-0-6 to win a tight league race by one point over Woodcreek.

The Lady Eagles then won their first two playoff matches blanking Oakmont and Casa Roble by identical 4-0 scores. However, Del Oro’s bid to capture the CIF section crown was stymied when league rival Woodcreek turned the tables on the Black and Gold, 4-0, in the finals.

“We basically return our whole team this year,” said Benjamin. “We lost the league MVP (Lauren Gollnick) to graduation but basically we were a sophomore and junior team last season.”

Key returnees for the Lady Eagles include seniors Jordan McDaniel and Kaleigh Landberg who will play up front and defenders Elle Gollnick and Kayla Collins, both who started last season as sophomores.

Taylor Cirksena, who is coming off the just completed Del Oro girls basketball season which extended into the CIF regional, will be in the goal for the Lady Eagles.

In last week’s 4-0 win over Oakmont, the Lady Eagles followed a pair of goals by McDaniel and one each from Landberg and freshman Emily Curry to notch the victory. Curry is one of four freshman on the Lady Eagles’ roster this season.

“We have some good young players that we’ve brought up,” said Benjamin. “We have a nice combination of returning and young players this season.”

Benjamin is anticipating another tight SFL race this season with his squad, Woodcreek and Roseville battling to stay ahead of improved teams in Rocklin, Nevada Union and Granite Bay.

“It should be a good race again,” said Benjamin.

Del Oro will open its SFL season next Tuesday at 7 p.m. when the Lady Eagles host Woodcreek.

2013 Del Oro

Gilrs Soccer

Tue. March 19 -   vs. Woodcreek, 7 p.m.

Thur. March 21 – vs. Rocklin, 7 p.m.

Thur. April 4 – Nevada Union, 7 p.m.

Tue. April 9 – at Granite Bay, 3:30 p.m.

Thur. April 11 – at Roseville, 7 p.m.

Tue. April 16 – at Woodcreek, 7 p.m.

Thur. April 18 – at Rocklin, 7 p.m.

Tue. April 23 – at Nevada Union, 3:30 p.m.

Thur. April 25 – vs. Granite Bay, 7 p.m.

Tue. April 29 – vs. Roseville, 7 p.m.