Armed with an experienced roster, Wauwatosa West's girls soccer team has its sights set on repeating as Woodland Conference champions.
The Trojans bring back 20 letter winners from last year's team that finished 11-4-3 overall and 10-0-1 in league play before falling in overtime to Brookfield East at regionals.
"Our biggest strength this season will be our experience," Tosa West coach Ryan Bailey said. "Because of this experience, training has been competitive in each exercise on a daily basis. With starting spots and playing time constantly up for grabs, it has given our team depth at every position.
"Our four captains, Emily O'Connell, Erin Schaut, Hannah Fuerstenau, and Chloe Pepke have done a great job to set this culture. Our other seniors are also fantastic leaders with their voices and examples."
Tosa West must fill the void left by the graduation of three All-Woodland players in Player of the Year and first-team forward Gabby Zabala, first-team defender Caitlin Campbell and second-team defender Megan Stoffel.
The Trojans do return first-team forward junior Emily O'Connell, first-team midfielder senior Hannah Fuerstenau, second-team goalkeeper senior Marley Eckblad and honorable mention defenders senior Chloe Pepke and senior Erin Schaut.
Other seniors back are goalkeeper Haley Orlowski, midfielder Bridget Obligato, forward Becca Barton and defender Marcellina Manzanet-Schmidt.
Juniors returning include forward Anna Ganser, defender Lauren Mayer, defender Emily Wagy and midfielder Alyssa Piek; sophomores back are defender Zoe Eckblad, defender Olivia Keenan, defender Kayla Stoffel, defender Chloe Beaudoin, forward Emma Gabriel and forward Irene Phillips.
Newcomers to the roster are juniors in defender Jenna Strand, midfielder Annika Strand, defender Claudia Strand and forward Marissa Justin and freshmen in forward Izzy Jacobson and midfielder Payton Mayer.
"One thing that we must work on is becoming cohesive," Bailey said. "With the girls playing in the offseason at different clubs and age groups, they must come back together as they did last year. Our leaders will make sure this is done swiftly."
Ranked 10th in the Division 2 preseason coaches poll, Tosa West opened its season by playing to a 0-0 draw against Germantown on March 31.
"It was an entertaining match for a debut," Bailey said. "It was end to end and featured lots of chances with neither team finding a winner. We started shaky but were able to settle down and create some one-on-ones through our style but could not convert them.
"Germantown was dangerous in both halves when we lost our marking responsibilities. This is something that must be improved as we shift to conference play. It was a positive start with room to grow. That is what you want to see in a debut."
The Trojans were scheduled to open conference play with a crucial showdown with fourth-ranked Pewaukee on April 4 before hosting Shorewood on April 6.