Future looks bright for WMHS girls’ soccer

After two straight seasons above .500, the future looks bright for the Watertown-Mayer girls’ soccer program.

The Royals recently completed an 9-8 season, and they lost just two players from the squad that posted the second-best record in school history -— second only to the season before. Granted, those two players are key ones -— goalkeeper Lexy Heldt and defender Jenna Thompson -— but the Royals’ offensive firepower will return intact next season.

“We have an extremely skilled class coming forward the next two years, so we look forward to continue building on the foundation that was set in place last year, and expanded on this year,” Royals’ second-year head coach Lindsey Rague said.

Two years ago, the Royals finished with a 10-7 record, and though their record this year took a small step backward, it was due in large part to the difficult schedule that was crafted in large part to challenge the team this year. The Royals were up to the challenge, winning nine of their final 13 games after an 0-4 start.

“Overall, I thought the seniors did a great job leading this team throughout the season,” Rague said of Heldt and Thompson. “It’s a difficult task to maintain and exceed goals and standards you set for yourself after having such a big year like we did (in 2012). It would have been easy for these girls to have a ‘we’ve done enough’ attitude, but they came back hungry for more this year, and our seniors really made sure that passion and determination stayed with us all year long.”

The Royals do not play in a conference for soccer, so there are no all-conference honors. However, the team was led offensively all season by Katie Heilman, who tallied 16 goals, and Allison Anderson, who had 11. Heldt added 108 saves to anchor the Royals’ defense.