Ridgway girls soccer optimistic about upcoming season

Coming off of a district semifinal appearance in Class AA last season, the Ridgway Lady Elker girls soccer team comes back with optimism for the 2011 season. “We have a total of 22 girls this year which is about the same as last year,” Ridgway coach Greg Maddalena said. “Good numbers, very good numbers for the co-op. This year, I got five girls from Johnsonburg. It’s really working out, I’m really loving the co-op, both schools are great to work with. I really think we’re going to make it back to where we were last year.”Maddalena said the Lady Elkers have eight returning starters back from last year’s team and also eight seniors. “I think we’re really going to be a successful team this year,” Maddalena said. “They know they have to earn your wins. I feel we have a very competitive team. The girls are starting to believe in themselves. They have a good work ethic, I really think it’s going to be a promising year.”A staple of the girls soccer team has been defense prowess and Maddalena said this year’s team will be no different. “Ever since I’ve been coaching, defense has been the backbone,” Maddalena said. “Last year, we started to show our offensive play. I think this year, everything is going to come together and click for hopefully a great season.”The team is not all defense, however. Strikers Rhianon Fowler and Courtney Bush provide a strong presence of speed on the front line. “Everybody contributes, everybody is a factor on this team, that’s all I can ask for,” Maddalena said. “That’s all I can ask for. A team that’s very competitive and wanting to win. It’s just really, really fun. The program has really taken off with girls soccer.”Maddalena hopes to see his offense succeed and put up good amounts of goal scoring this year and not let teams linger. “I would love to see four or five goals a game,” Maddalena said. “We could dominate, dominate, dominate but we can’t finish. We could leave a team hanging around. These girls are another year older and I think they can take care of finishing games this year. I think it’s going to be a fun season this year.”