Folsom soccer team looks to rebound after missing playoffs

By: Brett Ransford Telegraph Correspondent
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A new girls’ soccer season means a chance to redeem last year’s faults. Folsom missed the playoffs last year for the first time in nearly a decade. An injury plagued team finished well under .500 and five senior stars went off to four-year universities. Coach Mike McBride hopes this year is different. “I always expect the girls to finish near the top of our league,” McBride said. “Last year was the first year we did not make playoffs in my tenure as coach for the girls. [So far this year] we are coming together nicely.” The Bulldogs returned 15 players from last season, six of which are starters. In arguably the toughest Sac-Joaquin Section Division I conference — the Delta River League — Folsom brings a roster full of seniors. Of a total 22 players, 14 are seniors. Of those 14 eight played on varsity last year. Not a senior, but with plenty of varsity experience, is returning sophomore MacKenzie Benstead. Benstead, the lone freshman on last year’s squad and listed as a defensive player, scored three goals in the Bulldogs final two games. If previous freshman talent is any indicator of potential four-year varsity careers, McBride’s brought up three more to prove it. Sierra Del Frate, Meghan Longbehn and Savannah Schultz join Benstead, who is now the lone sophomore on the squad. The four underclassmen match four juniors selected. Additionally, McBride said three players returned after taking last year off. “I am hoping that this year will be different. The girls have great chemistry already and support each other at all three levels. We play in one of the toughest leagues in the section. The winner of most of the Division 1 section championships [St. Francis] is in our section as well as teams that have in the past won many section championships before joining our league last year. [Oak Ridge, Ponderosa],” McBride said. Folsom began the season with a 0-0 tie to Sierra Foothill League opponent Woodcreek. St. Francis is off to a 0-3-1 mark, losing 1-0 to the same Woodcreek team. Folsom’s next game is Thursday at Casa Roble, while the team opens league play at home Monday against St. Francis.