Members of the Mexico High School girls soccer team begin their season today with a home match against Father Tolton Catholic. This will be a varsity match only and will begin at 4 p.m.
Mexico has a strong core of returning players that Coach Brad Ellebracht will blend with some new players.
"Our expectations are to be playing our best soccer late in the year as we start to come together," the MHS coach said.
The team has approximately 10-11 players that played a lot last year and are returning this season. Brittany Griffin will be back in goal for the Lady Bulldogs. Also returning are junior Keagan Riddick, sophomore Abby Dick, junior Nutcha Pongsuea, sophomore Mariah Miller, senior Melanie Worley, senior Sammy Spurling, sophomore Sydney Schutte and junior Bailey Reed.
The team is losing senior Anna Perll who is out with a knee injury. Senior Caroline Finck, who missed last season due to an injury, will be back this year and "will really help us," the coach said.
New to the Lady Bulldogs will be three to four freshmen who will be thrown into the mix to see how well they compete.
"We have a lot of confidence they can make the right kind of impact on the field," Ellebracht said.
There are also three exchange students who are going to play with the team. "Michelle Dischleit (Germany) is going to make an impact right off the bat," the coach added.
Ellebracht says his team is deeper than they have been in the past couple of years. "Once we have everybody in the mix (which won't be for the first few matches), we will be able to use more players than in the past," Ellebracht stated. Plus the depth will create a little internal competition for playing time, which will make everyone better.
The MHS coach is throwing a lot of new people into key positions, so there is going to be a steep learning curve in terms of learning the positions and understanding how to play together.
Mexico is coming off a winning season from last year with a record of 13-10-2.