Girls soccer preview: Wilton young, but skilled

Unlike her recent predecessors, Freya Coombe — who takes over as the fourth head coach in the past six seasons for the Wilton High girls soccer team — does not inherit an experienced squad.

The Warriors graduated numerous key players from last year’s team, including forwards Haley English and Laine Parsons, midfielder Annika Sheehan and defender Makenna Pearsall.

But Coombe does have something that Wilton’s other coaches have shared: Talented players.

“We are a relatively young team, but there is a lot of skill,” said Coombe, who replaces John Salvatore. “This season may be a building one, but the future looks good.”

One area of strength for Wilton should be its defense, which features seniors Bridget Dwyer, Taylor Ingerman and Jillian Lauricella.

“We’ve got some good players in our defense,” said Coombe, whose team opened the season with a 4-0 road victory over Bridgeport Central yesterday. “That is a big help.”

Midfield could also be a plus position for the Warriors, as seniors Karen Brosko, Rebecca Hersch and Caraline Higgins are joined by talented sophomores Paisley Eagan and Zoe Lash and junior Rebecca Weistreich.

A key to Wilton’s success this fall will how it replaces the offensive firepower lost with the graduations of English, Parsons and Sheehan.

Juniors Ashley and Julia Vitarelli have the potential to be scoring threats, while classmates Paige Gladstein and Hannah Jung, sophomore Eva Greco, and freshmen Ally Dejana and Lindsay Groves will also look to add offense.

“We had a lot of seniors go from last year, so some freshmen and sophomores are going to be important,” said Coombe.

One advantage for the Warriors is the return of senior goalie Hana Previte, an experienced starter. She is backed up by sophomore Taylor Floyd.

“The keepers have looked good in practice,” said Coombe. “We look pretty set at that position.”

Notes: Wilton’s roster also includes juniors Catie Frankel and Brady Faria, sophomores Chloe Zimmerman, Emmy Goodwin and Andrea Benalcazar, and freshman Alex Brichowski.

The Warriors play their home opener this Friday against Greenwich at 3:30 at Lilly Field.

Wilton went 11-3-6 last year, losing in the FCIAC semifinals and the second round of the state tournament.

The Warriors had an overall record of 26-7-9 during Salvatore’s two seasons as head coach.