- About Us
Auburn looks for return to postseason | Prep girls soccer
Last year was a magical season for the Auburn girls soccer squad.
After a 30-year state tournament drought, the Trojans fought their way through the brutal South Puget Sound League North 4A and the district playoffs to earn a state 4A berth.
"It was fun," recalled third-year coach Adam Ladage. "It was an exciting time for them. We didn't finish as well as we wanted to in league (fifth in the SPSL North), but we won the games when we needed to. The dog pile (celebration) after the game against Olympia, after they realized they were going to state, was just amazing."
This season, with the bulk of the team returning, the Trojans again look to make their way out of the rugged North and back into the state playoffs.
"We have high hopes and expectations for ourselves," Ladage said. "We play in a very tough league with teams like Kentwood, Tahoma and Kentridge. It's very competitive, and you can't take a game off. You can't take a game for granted."
Last year the Trojans started the season 3-2 before their first meeting of the season against powerhouse Kentwood.
"We didn't start the season very well last year," Ladage said. "We were on the outside looking in at midseason. Then, all of a sudden, we win at Kentwood and come back and win at Kentlake. Our season just kind of turned there. After coming back from 1-0 to win at Kentwood, our season just changed right there. It was a belief.
"Not a single girl on my program had been on a winning Auburn team," he said. "They just started to believe in themselves and each other then."
According to Robinson, the Trojans' belief in their ability to knock off the traditional North leaders has carried over to this season.
"We were terrified of teams like Kentwood, Kentridge and Tahoma last year," said senior defender Kailey Robinson. "This year we're ready to play them and make a name for ourselves again. We're ready to go back (to state). We're not scared."
Robinson said the team is already further along in the chemistry department this year.
"What is different is we've known each other for so long," she said. "The chemistry was there last year. It was great. And all the girls loved each other and were hanging out together, bonding. And trying to get better at practice. The focus at practice and games was always there because we were always behind each other and accountable to each other.
"This year we have the most seniors that we've ever had, so we're an old team," Robinson said. "We have new additions also, with two new freshman. I think once we play together for a while and get used to playing without the people that we lost, we have the potential to be just as good, if not better, than last year."
Ladage expects the team's senior leadership to make the difference this year.
"Senior leadership (is our strength)," he said. "We have eight seniors, all of them on varsity for at least three years, most of them four years. So we have this core of players who have been together for a long time and believe in each other."
"We have a great senior leader in the back in Kailey. I think we're probably a little farther along this year than we were last year. But we peaked so high at the right time last year, and that's half of what it is. Can you play well at the right times?"
With the intangibles, like leadership and chemistry in place, Ladage – who was named co-SPSL North 4A Coach of the Year last season – said the team just needs to get its offense going early in the season.
"We have to find a way to score goals," he said. "We've struggled to score goals in the past. And we have to do what we did last year, which is to get results at key times. There are going to be some key games where we know we need to get a result to be successful."