The Boonville Lady Pirates soccer team could be a mix of both offense and defense this season under head coach Kaz Hazell.
With 24 players suited out for the 2019 season, eight of which are returning starters and 10 of which are returning letterwinners, Hazell said she thinks the team will be more defensive-minded at the beginning of the season and then counter when they can on offense.
After finishing 14-5-1 overall last year and 11-1 in the North Central Missouri Conference, the Lady Pirates will be playing in the Tri-County Conference this season. But with only three teams currently with soccer in the conference, Boonville will only have games against Southern Boone and Osage from the TCC.
The Boonville Lady Pirates soccer team will open the 2019 season this coming Friday at home against Columbia Rock Bridge starting at 5 p.m. Then, on Tuesday, March 19, the Lady Pirates will host the Hickman Kewpies at 5.
Hazell said the key to the season will be how well the Lady Pirates are organized defensively and keeping their shape.
“We will need to counter on offense once we win it in the defense,” Hazell said. “ We want to continue to grow as a team. We will need to focus on the fundamentals and being organized  defensively. The upperclassmen will be key in coaching up our younger players. The seniors set the example for the younger players. They are a very disciplined group that has a great work ethic. The upperclassmen are also great with players that are new to the sport.”
With eight of the 11 players returning from last year, Hazell said the goal this spring is to defend as a group. She said the first couple of games will be tough for the team, but the goal for those games is to limit the amount of goals scored. “Each game will have a different goal,” Hazell said. “We will want to set for ourselves.”
As for the strengths of the team this season, Hazell said this team is definitely a hard working group. She said they are a group that holds each other accountable at each practice and in the weight room. Hazell added that the seniors lead by example for the younger players and continue to be patient with one another. They will be a team that will bounce back quickly and continue to improve each day, Hazell said.
As for the weakness of the team, Hazell said the Lady Pirates will have low numbers and not have enough depth on the team.
The good news is that Boonville returns the No. 2 and 3 scorers from last year in seniors Sariana Barbarotta and Jaden McKee.
Barbarotta finished the season second only to Kate Peterson in scoring last spring with 20 goals but was the team leader in assists with 18. Barbarotta will play the midfield position.
Hazell said Barbarotta is the key midfielder this season. “She is going to be the playmaker on the field for us,” Hazell said. “She has a lot to offer on the field with her quick footwork and her ability to shoot with either foot. She is able to beat someone with skill and then create opportunities for other players.”
As for McKee, she will play the forward position and returns after finishing with 13 goals and two assists in 2018.
“Jaden will be important for us in the attack,” Hazell said. “Jaden is a player that uses her speed when going to goal. She is a player that will get many chances on goal with her and the keeper.”
Other seniors that will play a key role for the Lady Pirates are seniors Zoe Coffelt, Olivia Browning, Brooke Coleman, MJ Goff, Sydney Quint, Grace Bronakowski and Mille Dorman. Hazell said Coffelt, Browning, Coleman, Goff and Quint will all play the defenders position while Bronakowski will see action as a midfielder and Dorman at the forward position.
While scoring two goals and dishing out one assist last year for the Lady Pirates, Hazell said Coffelt has really picked up the sport really quick for only her second season. “Zoe is a great athlete all around,” Hazell said. “She is coachable and will work hard on the field for us in games. She has great speed and recovers quickly on defense.”
As for Browning, Hazell said she will be key in the defense for the Lady Pirates this season. Hazell said Browning has a lot of knowledge to offer to the younger players around her. “She is always positive with our younger players and continues to be patient with them,” Hazell said. “She is vocal and controls the backline.”
As for Coleman, she also returns having scored four goals while dishing out three assists in 2018. Hazell said Coleman is a smart defender and leads by example with her style of play. “Brooke is a player that connects a pass when she wins it out of the back,” Hazell said. “She has already stepped into her leadership role and continues to help the underclassmen. Her work ethic is what makes her stand out on the field.”
Hazell could say the same about Goff, who is a solid defender with a great work ethic. “MJ is a player that works to connect a pass after winning the ball,” Hazell said. “She has improved over the last year and continues to improve. MJ is a player that likes to get involved in the attack and help us get numbers forward.”
Goff also had one assist  for the Lady Pirates last season.
As for Quint, Hazell said she is a smart defender and leads by example with her play. “I am very happy to see her back out this season and get the opportunity to work with her,” Hazell said. “She can play outside or center back if needed. She has a great work ethic and positive attitude.”
While teaming up with Barbarotta at the midfielder position this season, Hazell said Bronakowski has improved tremendously with her passing accuracy. “Grace has worked hard so far and will be a player that helps us with rotations,” Hazell said. “She understands her spot and sticks to her strengths.”
Dorman could also be a dangerous player in attack for Boonville, Hazell said. “Mille is a player that is in the right place at the right time,” Hazell said. “She has a good shot from distance and is a very coachable player.”
The play of junior goal Sarah Miller will also be key this season for Boonville. While making her first start last year on varsity at the goalie position, Miller recorded 11 shutouts and had a goal average of 0.9.
“Sarah has a great work ethic and continues to improve her game,” Hazell said. “She is a player that puts in the extra work after practices. She also sets the example for our new keeper this season. She has already stepped up and coached her on her own without us as coaches telling her to do so.”
Hazell will also took to sophomores Jordynn Kempf and Olivia Gholson and freshmen Kaitlynn Elliott and Alondra Green this season.
Kempf will play the defender position. “Jordynn is new to us this season,” Hazell said. “She is going to be a great asset to the team. She has great vision when she is on the ball and will be dangerous going to goal. She has great speed and will use her skills going at defenders.”
As for Gholson, she will play the midfielder position this season and returns after scoring two goals and dishing out one assist last year.
“Olivia is a returning player for us this season,” Hazell said. “Her confidence on the ball has improved a lot from last year. She has a great work ethic and is coachable. She has the ability to go at players, but also helps out on defense. She is able to play both sides of the ball.”
As for Elliott, who will play the midfielder position this spring, Hazell said Kaitlynn is another new player to the program this year. “She has a lot of potential and we are looking forward to having her this season,” Hazell said. “She has a strong build and does not get pushed off the ball easy. She has good skills that will help us keep the ball in the mid.”
Last but not least, Green will also come in and play the defender position. Hazell said Green will be a great add to the defense this season. “She is not afraid to get stuck in on tackles and be aggressive,” Hazell said. “She will be a player that challenges our upperclassmen for their spots. She has a great attitude and works hard.”
As for the first match against Rock Bridge, Hazell said she would like to see the team limit the amount of goals scored.
“It is our first game and it is not an easy game to start off with,” Hazell said. “We will have to work hard on defense and then counter on offense.”

2019 Boonville Lady Pirates
Soccer
Schedule
3-15-ROCK BRIDGE, 5
3-19-HICKMAN, 5 p.m.
3-21-at Southern Boone, 5
3-25-at Osage, 5 p.m.
3-28-PLEASANT HILL, 5
4-1-at Oak Grove, 5 p.m.
4-2-at Moberly, 5 p.m.
4-9-FATHER TOLTON, 5
4-11-at Fatima, 5 p.m.
4-16-at St. Paul Lutheran, 5
4-22-at Clinton, 5 p.m.
4-25-MOBERLY, 5 p.m.
4-30-at Marshall, 5 p.m.
5-2-SMITH-COTTON, 5
5-8-OSAGE, 5 p.m.
5-11-17-Districts, TBA
5-18-Sectionals, TBA
5-22-Quarterfinals
5-29-6-1-State, TBA
Note: Home games in caps