Seniors Sophia Gullickson, Meghan Shaver, Lexi Marietti and Elizabeth Durst look to lead the Dana Hills girls soccer team in 2014. Photo: Steve Breazeale
Seniors Sophia Gullickson, Meghan Shaver, Lexi Marietti and Elizabeth Durst look to lead the Dana Hills girls soccer team in 2014. Photo: Steve Breazeale

By Steve Breazeale

Last Season: The Dolphins finished fifth in the South Coast League.

Players to Watch: Sophia Gullickson, Meghan Shaver and Elizabeth Durst.

Circle ‘em: The nonleague highlight will be an appearance in the Aliso Cup Tournament (12/8-15). A competitive league stretch includes games against San Clemente (1/20) and Aliso Niguel (1/22).

Outlook:

Change was the name of the game for the Dana Hills girls soccer team in 2013. A large group of seniors graduated after a successful season and head coach Carrie Taylor and her staff were brought in near the end of October, just about one month shy before the start of the season. The Dolphins spent the year adjusting and now re-group for a run through the South Coast League in 2014.

Six starters from last year’s group return, along with 12 returning varsity players.

The Dolphins are senior heavy, especially at midfield, where Sophia Gullickson and Megan Shaver return.

The Dolphins graduated their goalie, Meghan Dickmann, and the position is up for grabs, according to Taylor.

The high-profile Aliso Cup Tournament will highlight the Dolphins nonleague schedule and prepare them for the competitive South Coast League, which features three teams ranked in the CIF-SS Division 1 preseason polls. Rival San Clemente is currently ranked seventh, Aliso Niguel is ranked fifth and Capistrano Valley is t-10th.

After a down year last year, Taylor believes the strong group of returning players has taken it upon themselves to prepare for the new season.

“The leadership of this group is strong and the returners have set the tone for the younger players from the beginning,” Taylor said. “We have a good energy, solid leadership from the players this year and I think that if we stay healthy, good things are just around the corner.”

Season Schedule

Date                Opponent                                Location, Time

12/4                   Valencia                                       Valencia, 5 p.m.

12/8-15              Aliso Cup Tourn.                        TBA, TBA

12/16                  Beckman                                      DHHS, 5 p.m.

12/27-30           NOCC Tourn.                              TBA, TBA

1/2                      Troy                                              Troy, 11 a.m.

1/3                     Marina                                          DHHS, noon

1/6                     El Toro                                          DHHS, 4:30 p.m.

1/8*                   Capistrano Valley                        CVHS, 4:30 p.m.

1/13*                 Mission Viejo                               DHHS, 4:30 p.m.

1/20*                 San Clemente                              SCHS, 4:30 p.m.

1/22*                 Aliso Niguel                                 DHHS, 4:30 p.m.

1/29*                 Capistrano Valley                       DHHS, 4:30 p.m.

2/3*                   Mission Viejo                              MVHS, 4:30 p.m.

2/9*                   San Clemente                              DHHS, 4:30 p.m.

2/11*                 Aliso Niguel                                 ANHS, 4:30 p.m.

*–denotes league match

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