By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The Joplin High School girls soccer team has only three seniors this season.
Said Eagle coach Ed Miller on Monday: “We’re very young and inexperienced overall. The players do work very hard and they have good attitudes. They’re willing to learn. They want to learn. For a coach, those are great qualities with which to work.”
Joplin is scheduled to open the season today at Carthage. The junior varsity match is set for 5 p.m. with the varsity to follow at about 6:30.
The Eagles’ home opener is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday against Willard at the Joplin Athletic Complex. The junior varsity match will launch the doubleheader.
The Joplin seniors are forward/midfielder Niki Barlos, midfielder Jimmi Easton and Tara LaNear.
Easton and LaNear are probable starters against Carthage, Miller said.
Megan Rowe, a sophomore, is the probable goalie, Miller said.
Completing the probable starters are junior Anna Banwart, sophomore sister Molly Banwart, sophomore Kate Beckham, junior Maggie Miller, junior Courtney Mullins, sophomore Chelsea Nimmo, sophomore Kate Salmon and sophomore Lauren Stringer.
Added coach Miller: “It will take 3-4 matches for us to see what we have. The weather, of course, has made it tough. That’s true, of course, for everyone.”
Rounding out the varsity roster are junior Melissa England, sophomores Cailyn Barnett, Maddie Bollin and Haley Sloan, and freshmen Clair Cox, Cortney Krolman and Haley Maher.
Notes: Jim Easton and Tim Head return to assist Miller. Jimmi Easton and Maggie Miller are daughters of the coaches. ... An Ozark Conference favorite? “Glendale is always there (in the running),” Ed Miller said. “Kickapoo and Rolla also are in the chase. Camdenton and Lebanon aren’t far behind.” ... Anna Banwart made the second Class 3 District 12 Tournament elite in 2012. Rowe received honorable mention. ... Second-seeded Springfield Central beat favored Willard 3-2 in two overtimes for District 12 supremacy at Joplin. The Eagles ousted Carthage 1-0 on penalty kicks before losing 1-0 to Willard in the semifinals.