Clear Brook holding own in second
By L. Scott Hainline
Jeff Brewer is in his first season as Clear Brook's head coach, but he's no stranger to the Lady Wolverines.
I coached the junior varsity last year, and when (former head coach Rhonda Berry-Gomez) was on maternity leave, I filled in with the varsity," he said. I'm used to the girls, and they're used to me, so I feel like it's been an smooth transition.
After advancing to the third round last season, the expectations have risen, and with a good group of seniors and the others who have played together for a long time, we're confident we can get back to the playoffs and have some success."
The Lady Wolverines held second place one match into the second round of District 24-5A play, trailing state-ranked Clear Lake, and trying to hold off Clear Springs, Clear Creek and Dickinson.
At that point, Clear Brook's only league losses were to Clear Lake 4-0 and Clear Creek 1-0.
We've played better in district this season and want to keep that run going," Brewer said. The players have really stepped up their play in district."
Team captains are senior defenders Haley Sullivan and Sara Eguren, along with junior defender Rachel Arend and senior center midfielder Patty Stratton, last season's 24-5A offensive player of the year who is among the team leaders in goals.
Top sophomores include goalkeeper Jamie Simmons, forward Alexa Schnoor and 2009 district newcomer of the year Makenzie Kahan, who is another potent offensive weapon up front.
Brewer looks for additional senior leadership from midfielder Kate Schladenhauffen, and freshman forward Hannah Briggs continues to improve as she settles into the varsity game.
It's the mission of most 24-5A teams to catch, or at least compete with, perennial powerhouse Clear Lake, which eliminated Clear Brook 2-1 in last year's regional quarterfinals.
The Lady Wolverines get another shot at the Lady Falcons at 7 p.m. Monday at Clear Lake.
It's a true hometown rivalry and we always get fired up when we play Clear Lake," Eguren said. Even though we lost some good players from last year, we know if we continue to work hard and improve, we're capable of winning against anybody in our district.
A lot of us have been playing together for quite a while, and we know where we're going to be on the field, and that's a big plus."
The Lady Wolverines close district with 7 p.m. home outings against Ball on Friday, Clear Springs on March 9 and Alvin on March 12.
Clear Brook had 2009 playoff wins against Clements 2-1 and Deer Park 1-0 in a shootout before being edged by eventual regional champion Clear Lake.
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