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Saugatuck girls soccer enters season with high hopes

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor
The good times continued to roll for Saugatuck girls soccer in 2022, as the Trailblazers claimed a district championship for the second straight season and finished with a 12-6-3 overall record.
And with many key players back from that squad, Saugatuck coach Jordan Campbell is optimistic that the 2023 campaign will be more of the same.
“I am really excited about the group we have this year,” said Campbell, who is entering his eighth season at the helm of the Trailblazers. “We return most of our production from last year and have more kids in the program than we ever had before.”
That list of returning players includes six seniors: defender Haley Rivera; forwards Erin Moerler and Iris Kuipers; and midfielders Mia Zerfas, Eva Kierzek and Adele Nieuwsma.
First-year defender Ellen Martinsson gives Saugatuck a seventh senior on the roster.
“Our senior group is experienced, committed and a tremendous group of leaders,” Campbell said.
Also returning are juniors Faith Czarnecki (defender), Maddie Klein (defender), Jenn Schock (forward), Nate Vazquez (defender), Ally Firmiss (defender) and Grace Greenwood (goalie).
The sophomore trio of goalie Kennedy Gustafson, forward Maeve Wrenn and midfielder Sage Larsen round out the returning players.
“We return nine players who started a majority of our games last year and have a veteran roster that’s experienced a lot of competitive soccer,” Campbell said. “We’ll have to blend in some newcomers, especially on defense, but we feel this team has the potential to be the best we’ve ever had.” 
Freshman midfielder Neave Rewa and freshman forward Cecilia Atkins join Martinsson as top newcomers.
As for as conference honors are concerned, Campbell expects his team to be in the mix for a divisional title … especially with Kalamazoo Christian now in another division.
“Kalamazoo Christian has been the best team in our conference—and one of the best in the state—for a long time,” Campbell said. “But this is the first year we’re splitting into divisions and won’t have to go through them.   
“We know South Haven will be good and Fennville and Black River always compete well with us, but I expect us to be battling right at the top for a chance to win our first-ever conference title.”

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