In recent years, Seckman has had its share of bad luck in the Class 4 District 1 girls soccer tournament.
Last season, the Jaguars fell to Northwest 2-1 in two overtimes in the district semifinals. In 2017, Seckman fell to Jackson 1-0 in the district championship. Lauren Welker got loose late in the first half for the Indians and beat Seckman goalkeeper Lexi Haegele, who to that point had made several remarkable saves. In 2016, the Lions again beat the Jaguars 2-1, needing two extra periods.
The Jaguars finished 11-8-1 last year and head coach Tim Bookstaver, who is in his third season, said an experienced returning squad this season can boost its win total to at least 14.
“We have tried to build a team over the past few years of a possession-dominant side,” Bookstaver said. “We want to control the tempo of play for as much of a match as possible to frustrate and tire the opponent.”
Three all-Suburban Conference Red pool players return this season. Senior back Reece Wingbermuehle was selected to the first team, while senior left center back Kennady Crutchley and senior goalkeeper Alyssa Kerperien made the second team.
All nine of Kerperien’s wins last year were by shutout. She logged 1,448 minutes and posted a 1.05 goals-against average. She is returning for her third season; freshman Olivia Beck will be her backup.
Kerperien needs five wins and seven more shutouts to move into second place in school history in both categories. Hannah Spraul holds Seckman’s career records for wins, shutouts and minutes played.
“(Kerperien) is a vocal presence in the back and keeps constant conversation with her back line to try and keep the game organized,” Bookstaver said. “She has very good technique in goal.”
Wingbermuehle had eight goals and 19 points from the backfield last year. Junior Addison Alphin joins Wingbermuehle and Crutchley in the backfield.
Up top, the Jaguars have their top two returning scorers from a season ago in sophomore forward Hayley Hogenmiller (6 goals, 10 assists, 22 points) and senior Lauren Isbell (9 goals, 21 points).
“As a team that has been built for possession and not mercy-ruling the other team, we do not have flashy goal-scoring numbers, but Hayley looks to continue that creativity while improving on the six goals she put in the net last year,” Bookstaver said.
Senior forward Arial Clark and sophomore center midfielder Payton Montana have nailed down starting spots. Each scored a goal last year.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association posted the new district assignments on Friday. Seckman remains in District 1 with Fox, Poplar Bluff and three-time defending champion Jackson.