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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2010

Woodmore girls enjoy best soccer season ever

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ELMORE - Woodmore's girls soccer team plays the game at a quick pace, turning matches into track meets with its speedy progressions up and down the field.

They say they believe a fast-paced game leads to a greater number of scoring opportunities. The Wildcats' run-and-shoot approach to soccer has led to the best season in team history.

Through 15 games, Woodmore stands at 11-3-1 under coach Malcolm Edge, who is in his first season. Their 8-7-1 record last season had been the best year in the team's three-year existence.

"We feel like we've got the foundation of the program going forward," said Edge, who spent the first two years of the program working as an assistant coach in charge of the goalkeepers.

Edge entered this season with a game plan that called for junior Taylor Avers and senior Jessica Wolfe to lead the way, especially on offense.

Avers and Wolfe share the scoring load in a major way with Avers responsible for a team single-season record (and counting) 27 goals. Wolfe isn't far behind in the goal-production department, accounting for 24.

Their one-two punch has sparked the Wildcats into registering a team-record (and counting) 81 goals this season.

Woodmore has outscored its opponents, 81-15.

"I'd asked them to give me 35 goals combined, so 35 was the target for both players," Edge said. "As a team, we hoped for 60-65 goals with Taylor and Jessica accounting for the bulk of the scoring, while a few others picking up four or five each."

The Wildcats coach thought Avers and Wolfe would work well as a "twin strike force" attack.

"The strategy is to get the ball to these two players and they're supposed to get the ball in the goal," Edge said. "Obviously, they've done that."

The Wildcats, who have only lost to Lake and Genoa in Suburban Lakes League competition, have thrived in their up-tempo game. It's delivered the kind of success that has even surprised their coach. Edge, who grew up in England playing soccer, spent years in the United States coaching the sport. However, after a decade-long layoff from coaching, Edge accepted the head coaching position optimistic about the Wildcats' future.

"I knew I had a good team and I felt because I had the playing experience [in England], I could show the girls the steps to take the girls to the next step of their soccer education," he said.

Avers' and Wolfe's foot speed is second to none, according to Edge. So, getting the ball into their possession has generally been a positive play.

One of those moments occurred recently when Avers slipped a shot past a goalie 14 seconds into a match, which represents the fastest goal scored in the program's history.

Brittany Linke, a senior midfielder, has scored three goals this fall. More importantly, she's been a key player in delivering passes and setting up Avers and Taylor for goal-scoring opportunities.

With 36 players involved in the varsity and junior varsity programs, Edge likes where the Wildcats are headed.

The program has shown significant improvement rather quickly since recording only three varsity victories in the team's first season.

Frankly, it's been improvement at a pace to their liking.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com or 419-724-6302.



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