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Young players get the job done for Carlson PHOTO GALLERY

  • After a slow start Wednesday night, the Carlson Marauders scored five second-half goals and crushed Lincoln Park 6-0. Photo gallery by Frank Wladyslawski

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When a team loses nine seniors to graduation most would assume that the team would take a step back the following season, but for Carlson girls soccer Coach Steve Briggs that’s not the case.

The third-year head coach replaced the departed class with nine sophomores and two freshmen to produce a group that is arguably just as talented as last year’s edition.

“We are young overall as a team but I honestly, truly believe that these girls are more talented than my last group,” said Briggs. “That is saying a lot because those nine seniors that graduated had a lot of talent.”

The young Marauders put that talent on display Wednesday night against Lincoln Park.

Sophomores Jenni Simmons and Jordyn Francis scored for Carlson (2-1) to go along with Freshman Brittany Wenzel who also netted a goal in the 6-0 early season win.

Briggs said that although his team is talented they still must learn how to play as a cohesive unit moving forward.

“We just need to learn how to gel. That’s my main concern because they don’t have as much experience playing with the older girls,” said Briggs. “I lost nine seniors and now I have nine sophomores so filling in those spots is going to be a difficult for us, but I think that they can do that.”

The Marauders will look to its three team captains to help mold the team moving forward.

“Our leaders are Kristina Torres and Chelsea Stefanic. Paige (Blakeslee) is also there too, those are our three captains. The team chose them, I didn’t pick them obviously, and I thought they chose wisely.”

Their leadership was on display Wednesday night. Blakeslee anchored a defense that did not allow a shot against Lincoln Park, Torres netted two goals and Stefanic scored one to go along with two assists.

The team will face a stiff test in the next week when they take on five time defending Downriver League champion Woodhaven on Friday and Southgate Anderson next Wednesday.

The Marauders are hoping to show that they have the right amount of veteran leadership and young talent to graduate to the elite of the Downriver League.

“Scott Hoye is new at Woodhaven, but they are always tough. Same thing with Southgate,” said Briggs. “These next few games are really going to show where we are and the rest of the league.”

Last Updated: 4/3/2014 4:35:45 PM EST