Year in and year out, the Oakville Senior High School girls’ soccer team proves itself as being one of the best in the state.
The Tigers are aiming to advance to the Final Four this season after dropping a 5-0 decision to Fort Zumwalt West last season in the state quarterfinal.
Oakville returns eight starters from last season’s squad, which went 18-6-2 with a 7-0-1 mark in Suburban West Conference play. This year’s squad includes six seniors, six juniors and two sophomores.
Senior Emma Kriegel returns for her fourth season on the varsity squad after racking up 11 goals and 11 assists last season. The midfielder was a Second-Team All-Metro and Second-Team All-State selection last season and is slated to attend St. Louis University in the fall.
“Emma should continue to do what she’s been able to do, which is being a leader on the field,” Oakville head coach Dave Rob-ben told the Call. “Her style of play has her always around the ball.”
Another senior who was an All-Metro and All-State selection last season is Amanda Akin.
“Amanda’s a marker/tracker on the field,” Robben said. “Her main job is to track the opposing team’s top player.”
Senior Brooke Inman returns as the team’s top scoring threat after recording 12 goals and two assists last season.
The starting forward plans to attend Missouri State in the fall.
“Brooke’s a straight-ahead attacking forward,” Robben said. “She’s a player that likes to push the ball into the open space on the field.”
Megan Flecke also is signed to attend Missouri State after recording five goals and eight assists last season as a midfielder.
“Megan, like Brooke, is signed to go to Missouri State,” Robben said. “She’s a wide midfielder that’s very good at taking on defenders.”
Junior Jasmina Suljic should be a key scoring threat after scoring eight goals and 11 assists last season. The starting forward led Oakville with five game-winning goals in 2006.
“Jasmina and Brooke are the two top forwards on our team,” Robben said. “They do a real good job complementing each other on the field.”
Megan Wingenbach returns to the midfield after recording one goal and seven assists as a sophomore last season.
“Megan’s a good center midfielder that complements Emma Kriegel really well,” Robben said. “She’s become very versatile in the way that she plays in the midfield.”
Junior Amanda Teschner returns to the starting lineup as a defender and should be one of the cornerstones of the defense.
“Amanda’s a very good defender,” Robben said. “She has that ability to read the attack really well and then have the ability to stop the attack and start our counterattack.”
Sweeper Courtney Kennedy is another player who will be key to Oakville’s defensive success this season.
“Courtney’s strength is her quickness and her speed,” Robben said. “She has the ability to go in and break up a lot of passes.”
Junior Chelsea Suhre may take on the team’s goalkeeping duties after playing at the defender slot last season.
“Last season, Chelsea was a starter in the backfield,” Robben said. “She’s played goalie for her club team, and we’re looking at her as possibly being the goalkeeper.”
The Tigers open the 2007 season at 7 p.m. Friday against Horlick Senior High School of Racine, Wis., at the Anheuser-Busch Conference Center.