After a Cinderella-like run to the County semi-finals in 2016, the returns a strong cast capable of repeating last season’s success.

Coach: Matt Armstrong (sixth season)

2016 season: 13-7 (including one forfeit win), lost in the OC semifinals to Foothill, 5-1.

Players to watch for:

Katie Hendrix, senior, midfield: The Arizona State-bound senior return for the Sailors after having a successful junior year. Hendrix had 31 goals, 14 assists, 36 groundballs, 11 takeaways, and 41 draw controls for the Sailors last season. Hendrix was also named to the all-CES (Century, Empire, Sunset) league first team.

, senior, midfield: Farley, who is bound for Belmont Abbey University in Belmont, North Carolina finished with 27 goals, five assists, 26 groundballs, 27 draw controls and 10 takeaways last season. Farley will aide Hendrix when it comes to scoring. Farley made the all-CES league first team last season:

, junior, DM: One of the Sailors most dangerous scorers, Rothbard has committed to play at the University of New Hamshire. Rothbard, who earned all-league first team honors last year as a sophomore, finished with 25 goals and six assists. Rothbard scored the double-overtime game-winner for the Sailors in the quarterfinals upset over No.2. Margaret’s last year.

Other players to watch for: (attack, senior), (defense, senior), (defense, senior), Jade Rettig (goalie).

Schedule highlights: Feb. 25 @ San Clemente (season opener), 10 a.m. (away), March 2 vs. Mater Dei, 6:30 p.m., at Estancia High School, March 21 vs. St. Margaret’s, 6:30 p.m., at Estancia High School, March 24 vs. Corona Del Mar, time TBA, at Estancia High School, April 4, vs. Los Alamitos, 6:30 p.m., at Estancia High School, April 18 vs. Temecula Valley (first game at Newport Harbor’s new field), 6:30 p.m. (home).

What you should know: After the most successful season in team history, the Sailors look to have yet another strong season and prove that they deserve to be called contenders.

This year’s team could be just as good as last year’s. While the Sailors lost players such as and , scoring threats Hendrix and Rothbard should be dangerous again this year.

The Sailors will play as an independent this year.  A challenging schedule is highlighted by games against Los Alamitos, No. 4 Corona del Mar, No. 3, St. Margaret’s, No. 2 Foothill, and the reigning Southern Section champion Mater Dei. These challenging games should help the Sailors be ready at playoff time again this year.

 

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