• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Lady Spartan Soccer Head Coach Paulson hopes for a spring season

Lady Spartans’ JV and varsity soccer rosters delayed due to COVID-19
Head Coach Amanda Paulson greets a player coming off the field during a score in the second half of the Lady Spartans' 2-0 win on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at Spartan Stadium, over the Maquoketa Cardinals. (photo by Jeff Hess)

SOLON– Although the season start is still up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lady Spartans’ soccer team is at home on the edge of their seats.
With the delay of the Lady Spartans’ opening game, scheduled for 5:30 p.m., at Spartan Stadium against the Liberty High Ligthning on Friday, March 27, due to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recommendation, the season holds many questions. Not the least of which is the naming of the varsity and junior varsity (JV) rosters, according to Head Coach Amanda Paulson.
Coach Paulson leads the Lady Spartans into the second season under her tutelage following a 7-13 record in 2019, claiming wins over West Liberty, West Delaware, Central DeWitt, Maquoketa, Benton, Iowa City Regina and Mediapolis. She led the team to a 3-9 Class 1A-WaMaC East Conference record, good enough for fourth behind Marion, Mount Vernon and Beckman Catholic, respectively, and trailed by Maquoketa, Central DeWitt and West Delaware.
“This is my second year at Solon as the Girls Varsity Head Coach,” Coach Paulson noted. “I volunteered with the men's team in 2017 and prior to that I played Division I soccer at Valparaiso University.”
Coach Paulson’s staff has seen some changes since last season. She welcomed Katie Helmlinger as an assistant coach joining Assistant Coach Ashley Capone and this season’s Team Managers Tali Radcliffe and Grace Yetley.
Helmlinger has previous experience coaching club soccer in the area and also played collegiate soccer at Drake University.
“Prior to spring break, the girls were participating in open plays on Sundays and conditioning twice a week in addition to weight lifting,” Paulson elaborated. “The girls have been putting in the time and effort and our numbers have been great.”
Coach Paulson also went on to praise the new blood entering the program, as well as an excellent foundation of returning players to build a team upon.
“We have several new faces this year I anticipate will make an impact,” she assessed. “Freshmen Morgan Link, Alex Paisley, Izzy Paisley and Maria Milliman. Our varsity roster has not been selected and decisions will be made during the first week of practice.”
From last year’s varsity roster, she’s welcoming back Brenna Gogel, Haley Melchert, Payton Wheeler, Abby Cross, Ella Duster, Christine Diersen, Nicole Shafer, Hannah Bock, Stella Mesch, Alex Locke, Sylvia Havlicek and Sydney Rissman.
“We have not split into varsity and JV as the season has not yet begun,” she pointed out.
“During these uncertain times, I am looking to all of my seniors for leadership,” she said. “They have done a tremendous job of welcoming our newcomers to the team and have been showing up during the off-season and putting in the work. Additionally, I am looking to Brenna Gogel, Haley Melchert and Sylvia Havlicek to lead the team in communication and by example. They will be seniors on the field this year and have provided a great deal of leadership in the off-season.”
Leadership on and off the field isn’t in short supply, Paulson pointed out.
“As far as young leaders, my sophomores Alex Locke and Christine Diersen will continue to be a voice in the defensive half and their experience will help with our team's success.”
The Lady Spartans return 12 seniors to the roster for the 2020 season: Brenna Gogel, Riley Olsen, Haley Melchert, Payton Wheeler, Abby Cross, Ella Duster, Alyse Erenberger, Nicole Shafer, Hannah Bock, Aspen Erenberger, Beth Richards and Sylvia Havlicek.
The schedule, even with numerous away games during the middle of the season pleases Coach Paulson.
“We have a good schedule lined up,” she said. “We start the season slow, allowing us to work on skill and team development. We have a heavier schedule in the middle of the season with a lot of road games, but I think our girls will rise to the challenge.”
“The WaMaC always brings good competition. Teams that challenged us last year were Marion, Beckman and Mount Vernon,” she added.
With the fluid situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the community, the nation and the world, the schedule will feel the ramifications and the coaching staff and players will be forced to weather. Coach Paulson is not concerned with the challenge posed by this to the character of the staff and players.
“I am in healthcare and I am seeing first hand the effect COVID is having on our society and I am also concerned about the affect it will have on our season,” she summarized. “All we can do now is maintain a positive attitude, stay active and use this time to connect with those we love.”
She added, “We are still hoping for a season this spring!”
The Solon Girls Soccer Roster, yet to be divided into JV, led by Assistant Coach Helmlinger, and varsity, led by Head Coach Paulson, includes the following players:
Seniors 0- Brenna Gogel, 00- Riley Olsen, 1- Haley Melchert, 2- Payton Wheeler, 3- Abby Cross, 4- Ella Duster, 6- Alyse Erenberger, 9- Nicole Shafer, 10- Hannah Bock, 11- Aspen Erenberger, 12-Beth Richards and 17- Sylvia Havlicek.
Juniors 7- Naya Vang, 13- Stella Mesch, 24- Sydney Rissman and 28- Gianna Rocca.
Sophomores 8- Christine Diersen, 15- Alex Locke and 16- Lauren Bevans.
And Freshmen 14- Maria Milliman, 18- Izzy Paisley, 19- Mara Duster, 20- Alex Paisley, 21- Liona Rocca, 22- Hanna Vance, 23- Georgia Havlicek, 25- Autumn Vang, 27- Lilian Keller and 34- Morgan Link.
The Lady Spartan Soccer schedule prior to the COVID-19 delay:
Home 03/27/2020 - Fri Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Iowa City Liberty
Home 04/07/2020 - Tue Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Marion
Away 04/14/2020 - Tue Iowa City Regina High School at Regina Catholic
Home 04/17/2020 - Fri Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Beckman Catholic
Away 04/18/2020 - Sat West Delaware Schools - (Beckman Sports Complex) at West Delaware
Away 04/20/2020 - Mon Benton Community High School at Benton
Away 04/21/2020 - Tue Central DeWitt High School at Central DeWitt
Away 04/23/2020 - Thu South Tama High School at South Tama
Away 04/28/2020 - Tue Maquoketa High School at Maquoketa
Home 04/30/2020 - Thu Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Mount Vernon
Away 05/05/2020 - Tue Center Point-Urbana High School at Center Point-Urbana
Away 05/07/2020 - Thu Williamsburg High School at Williamsburg
Away 05/09/2020 - Sat Liberty High School at Iowa City Liberty
Home 05/11/2020 - Mon Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Independence
Home 05/15/2020 - Fri Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Vinton-Shellsburg
Away 05/19/2020 - Tue Clear Creek Amana High School at Clear Creek-Amana
Home 05/21/2020 - Thu Solon CSD Spartan Stadium Tipton
Home 05/22/2020 - Fri Solon CSD Spartan Stadium West Liberty