Vikings may be green,’ but they’re deep, versatile
Janesville Parker girls coach Amy Wargowsky is hoping her team’s green nature goes away just as quickly—except for the school colors, of course.
Entering her fifth year as head coach, Wargowsky’s clipboard holds a deep and versatile roster. What it lacks is experience, as Parker High lost seven starters to graduation.
“We have a lot of girls that are playing as starters for the first time,” Wargowsky said. “We only have four seniors on our varsity, but their leadership is awesome.”
Senior midfielders Cindy Tellez and Ellie Jacobson and senior defenders Sammy Jackson and Cass Horne are among the nine letter winners from a team that went 8-11 overall and 2-5 in the Big Eight Conference last season.
Junior Savannah Shepler joins Tellez and Jacobson as co-captains.
Shepler will make a smooth transition from high tops to lows. After starting for the Vikings in basketball, she’ll take on the crucial role of sweeper for Wargowsky.
“Savannah is very vocal and can see the entire field,” Wargowsky said. “She is great at directing the defense and even contributing offenseively.”
The Vikings’ bench is deep, and underclassmen will get a shot to make an immediate impact. The team’s lone freshman, Jasmine Baines, will be in the mix as a forward, and sophomore Courtney Gies will contribute on defense.
The Vikings opened their season with a 3-0 setback at Racine Case. Junior Anna Dubanowich started in goal and will share the duties with sophomore Brianna Washington.
“Each of my keepers has the go-after-it attitude,” Wargowsky said. “Neither of them back down.”
Given the Vikings’ inexperience, Wargowsky wasn’t sure what to expect against Case, but she was encouraged with the way her team settled in after allowing two goals in the first 15 minutes.
“Two of the goals were because of the inexperience of playing together, but as the game progressed, the girls became more comfortable with one another and their positions,” Wargowsky said. “It was especially nice since we were facing a strong wind in the second half.”
After another nonconference tuneup tonight at home against Oregon, Parker hosts Beloit Memorial in a Big East Conference opener on Thursday, April 15. The Vikings edged the Purple Knights, 3-2, in last year’s opener.
The Vikings will look to duplicate the feeling of a thrilling 2-1, double-overtime win over Mukwonago in the first round of last season’s WIAA Division 1 regional.
“That (game) was definitely one of the highlights,” Wargowsky said. “It would be great to repeat a win like that and get further in the playoffs, but we’re in an incredibly competitive sectional.”
So she’s keeping the proverbial ball right in front of her, where she can best control it.
“My goal is to get better
after every game.”
(7 p.m. unless indicated)
APRIL: 1—Racine Case def. Parker, 3-0. 6—At Oregon. 15—Beloit Memorial. 20—Madison East. 22—At Madison West. 29—Verona. 30—Parker Quad, 4:30, 6:30 p.m.
MAY: 4—At Sun Prairie; 6—Janesville Craig; 11—Lodi; 13—At Madison La Follette. 15—Parker Invitational, 9:30 a.m. 18—Madison Memorial; 20—At Middleton. 21—Elkhorn. 25—At Jefferson, 6:30. 22—Big Eight tournament, TBA.