By Evan Ren
Killeen Daily Herald
For the Ellison girls soccer team, 2005 was a year of firsts.
The Lady Eagles earned their first playoff berth in 14 years, then subsequently earned their first playoff win in school history with a 3-0 shutout of Montgomery.
The question is, can this year's Ellison squad come anywhere close to matching last season's performance?
In all, the Ellison girls set six team records in 2005, including victories in a season (12), shutouts in a season (10), district victories (nine), district shutouts (seven), goals scored in a season (56) and most goal scorers (13).
Individual achievements included Amy Kimmel scoring a school-record 19 goals to push her school-record tally to 41. Amber Marbury posted a record 11 assists on the year, and finished in second place on the all-time EHS scoring list with 21 goals.
Kimmel has since moved on to play at UMHB, while Marbury, along with goaltender Anna Garrick, committed to Hill College.
What coach Bryan Charlton is left with is a young team which may take weeks to find itself.
"It's difficult to replace 30 goals," said Charlton, whose team posted an 0-4 record in the Killeen ISD Centex Shootout over the weekend. "Amber and Amy combined for 30 goals last year and they also combined for more than 20 assists.
"So it's going to be a matter of getting goals from the younger players."
Trying to pull up the slack on the offensive end will be junior striker Angie Belford, who, after joining the team late last season, scored nine goals and notched seven assists in nine games.
Other key returnees include senior striker Darlene Olarte (five goals, no assists), senior striker Kristin Lane (four goals, five assists), senior midfielder Tiffany Alston (three goals, one assist), senior wing Deleen Delgadillo (one goal, one assist) and senior defenders Yanixa Tobon (two goals, two assists) and Liz Renner (no goals, no assists).
Newcomers include junior strikers Iesha Paris and Jalissa Long, junior defenders Rita Gbunblee and Sheila Rivera, junior goaltender Becky Kimmel, sophomore defender Lisa Griffin, junior midfielder Iveth Castillo, and freshmen midfielders Tara Kay Horlacker and Amanda Petri.
"We're still trying to find our identity," Charlton, said. "We've got quite a few young players and few spots to fill.
"To really say exactly what type of offense we're going to run, I really don't know. We're going to see what we've got first."
The Lady Eagles will take the field again on Tuesday night, when they host Pflugerville Hendrickson at Leo Buckley Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Evan Ren at email@example.com