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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Girls' Soccer Teams to Watch

November 27, 1998|TRIS WYKES

BUENA

1997-98: 19-4-4, Channel League champion

The Bulldog program is consistently among the region's best and a young team should live up to that tradition this season.

Nine starters return and are bolstered by the addition of sophomore transfer Lisa Engle, a midfielder who had six goals and 12 assists for Ventura last season.

Engle will help feed sophomore forward Natalie Sanderson, an All-Southern Section Division II pick last season when she had 19 goals and 13 assists, to help Buena reach the division quarterfinals.

J.J. Toohey, a junior midfielder, Meghan Roarty, a senior fullback, and Shannon Morton, a senior forward, will all be counted upon. Morton had eight goals and five assists and was an All-Channel League selection last season.

CHAMINADE

1997-98: 26-2-2, Mission League champion, Southern Section Division III co-champion

Unlike last season, the Eagles don't have a ridiculously deep roster. But fifth-year Coach Mike Evans feels his team can capture its third consecutive section title.

"This team has more individual talent on it than last year's but it remains to see how we'll play as a team," Evans said.

The primary area of concern is defense, where three of four starters plus the goalkeeper graduated. Help arrives in senior goalkeeper Sara Leibowitz, a transfer from La Reina, and sophomore stopper Lauren Nussbaum, who played on the boys' team at Milken last season.

Jen Valentine and Amy Watts, in their fourth seasons at starters, must get the ball to forwards Kim Taylor and Kelly Lavery, who Evans said could combine for more than 40 goals.

CHATSWORTH

1997-98: 24-1-1, Coast/Valley League, City Section 4-A Division champions

Here we go again: The Chancellors, winners of three consecutive 4-A division titles and of eight section titles in 10 seasons, still appear to have little competition among their overmatched City opponents.

Ten starters return from a team that lost only to Camarillo in a holiday tournament game and tied Southern Section Division IV co-champion Chaminade last season. Chief among the returnees is senior forward Jackie Fodor, who has 67 goals at Chatsworth and has committed to USC.

Junior Shannon DeVos scored 13 goals last season and teams with Katie Klain and Heather Collins in the midfield. Megan Landress, Erica Frechman, Tonya Schmidt and Darcy Wooten return to play in front of three-year starter Tina Essington in goal.

SIMI VALLEY

1997-98: 20-6-1, Marmonte League champion

The Pioneers are rebuilding, but don't count out a program that has won two consecutive Marmonte League titles and three of four.

Five starters return but seniors Alex Ingraham and Valorie Annunziata are big losses.

Ingraham, a midfielder who had 10 goals and seven assists last season, is out until February with a knee injury and Annunziata quit the team.

"Alex was the one player we couldn't lose," said Coach Mark Johnson, whose team reached the Southern Section Division I semifinals last season. "She didn't get a lot of goals, but she got goals that won games."

Top returnees include senior sweeper Cindy Mallet, the league's two-time defensive player of the year, and midfielder Mindy Gondrez and fullback Sara Janke, both seniors.

Striker Brittany Green and stopper Michelle Thuotte are juniors and first-year starters.

"We'll start sluggish," Johnson said. "I don't see us giving up a tremendous amount of goals but we lost a lot of scoring."

WESTLAKE

1997-98: 18-4-2, Marmonte League runner-up

Nine starters return from a team that advanced to the second round of the Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Lost to graduation were forwards Patty Hostin and Meghan Daly, the latter The Times' area player of the year. But new Coach Rick Hanson is excited nonetheless.

"I look at the field and at my bench and I have so much talent that's ready to do well," said Hanson, a Warrior assistant in 1997-98. "It's a coach's dream to have that much talent to work with."

Westlake's strength is down the middle with midfielders Tasha Spangler and Jenna Wirtz playing in front of stopper Naomi Chu and sweeper Katie McCurdy. The goalkeeping tandem of Claire Connor and Katie Peck returns.

At forward, heralded freshman Lauren Bear must carry some of the scoring load along with sophomore Jenna Ainsworth.

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