Jacket girls’ soccer kicks off today

WILLIAMSTOWN – When the girls soccer team from Williamstown steps on the soccer field today at Cross Lanes Christian, the Yellowjackets will make history regardless of the outcome. During the offseason, the high school decided to create a separate girls soccer team following years of a co-ed system. Last season, Williamstown utilized several girls in the rotation as the starting lineup was littered primarily of the boys persuasion What resulted was one of the most productive seasons turned in as the Yellowjackets finished 15-3-2 and advanced to the Class AA/A regional championship.

“The boys’ style is a lot faster,” said junior Laura Petty, who is one of three captains on Williamstown’s inaugural girls team. Also earning that distinction are junior Heather Albertson and sophomore Hannah Jarvis. “The boys were stronger, so we had to work a little harder,” Petty continued. “You could tell we got a lot stronger, a lot faster and a lot quicker with our game. We got used to getting tackled and getting bumped around.”

Petty is projected to start as a center midfielder, while Jarvis will line up as an outside midfielder.

“I’ve pretty much play an outside midfielder all the time,” Jarvis said. “It’s a lot of running, but I don’t mind it. I don’t usually get to score the goals, but I get to assist them in. And that’s better than scoring goals.”

Protecting the net is Albertson at keeper. Her father, Mike Albertson, coaches the girls team. Last year, he coached the boys program but took over the girls team when the position became available. During his playing days, coach Albertson also played keeper so his daughter is keeping the tradition alive.

“He’s been my coach ever since I started playing soccer,” Heather Albertson said. “He’s been my rec, travel and high school coach and he has taught me a lot.”

With no seniors on the 18-member roster, the Williamstown girls had to test the waters during their first scrimmage last week against the Parkersburg junior varsity.

“We definitely had a lot of jitters and you could tell we were really nervous once we first touched the ball,” Jarvis said. “But as the game went on, we got more calm and did a lot better.”

A total of 11 girls played travel ball, so the Yellowjackets are anticipating more than just a few wins. In fact, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see similarities to what the boys accomplished a year ago.

“I am hoping that happens to us this year,” Petty said. “There’s nothing better than having that feeling of winning.”