Northwest Girls Soccer Eyes Strong Finish to Standout Season


Northwest's girls soccer team is in the midst of yet another strong season.

The Jaguars are 11-0-1 this year, which comes on the back of a 2015 campaign in which the team finished 10-5-1, and reached the MPSSAA 4A West regional final. The team's lone draw came against Marriotts Ridge on Sept. 3- since then Northwest has rattled off 10 straight wins.

On Oct. 6, Northwest topped Wootton 2-1 to win Montgomery County's 4A/3A West division title.

"I'm a firm believer in teaching my players to be students of the game and to read what the other team is giving them. The team that has the ability and tools to adjust is the team that has the better chance of being successful," head coach Josh Kinnetz said. "We train in scenarios that force the players to problem solve and ask the right questions to exploit the oppositions weaknesses."

One problem Northwest has posed which few opponents have been able to solve is the team's defense. The group has been the backbone of the team, recording five shutouts and allowing more than one goal in a game just once this season, which came in the Jaguars' 3-2 opening day win against Hereford.

The guts of the unit are comprised of the center-back tandem of senior all-state selection Emily Abdullah and sophomore Cailynn Adelman. The two's partnership provides a solid foundation at the back which allows the Jaguars' outside backs to bomb forward and add width to the Jaguars' attack.

In front of Abdullah and Adelman is junior holding midfielder Jordan Markiewicz, who has done an excellent job of shielding the back line from opposing attacks. Behind the center back pairing is junior goalie Kaitlyn Dold, who has also enjoyed an excellent season.

Up front, the Jaguars are deep and talented. Much like Abdullah and the defense, the team's attack is also led by an all-state selection- senior play maker Samantha Sekscienski. Sekscienski has been everywhere for the Jaguars this year, scoring eight times and recording 10 assists.

Junior Leanna Choo leads the team in goals with 13 and has been dynamic thus far, scoring in every game she has been available to play in except for one. Fellow junior Heather Markiewicz has seven goals and five assists, while senior Sydney Glad, who does an excellent job of pressuring opposing defenders into causing turnovers, has a goal and four assists.

"This 2016 team has an experienced, dynamic and balanced attack with a high soccer IQ that has the ability to quickly strike on the counter, or strike through possession-oriented play," Kinnetz said.

The team's attack will have to be capable of making adjustments if it wants to finish the final week of the regular season undefeated.

Northwest has a tough slate to end the regular season in Whitman and Blake, both of which have only lost once this season. First up is away to Whitman today, and the injury bug has hit the Jaguars, who will be without two starters and two key role players off the bench.

"Instead of dwelling on what we can't control such as injuries, we as a team have chosen to focus on what we can control," Kinnetz said. "This week will be a great opportunity for our team to adjust and for other players to raise their level of play to fill the void of the missing players."

The raising of play will be key for Northwest to take its program to the next level.

The Jaguars have reached the MPSSAA 4A West regional final the past two seasons, but have lost 1-0 both times. Kinnetz hopes his team can get past that round this year and go on to win the program's first state championship, although both he and his team know it won't be easy.

"We recognize we have to earn the opportunity by making it through a tough sectional which is the very reason why we must take it one game at a time to stay in the moment, and keep from looking forward," Kinnetz said.
October 18th, 2016By: Wick Eisenberg

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