Two new girls’ soccer coaches will take over teams that enjoyed playoff success last season.
Brett LeQuesne is the new coach for Providence, which won the program’s first league championship during the 2016-17 season.
Pablo Diaz takes over at Burbank, which won a playoff match last season after battling through a tough Pacific League campaign.
Over at Burroughs, the Indians lost their share of talent to graduation but have hope of making another playoff run.
Here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.
The Bulldogs (7-10-3, 6-5-3 in league for fourth place) defeated Mayfield in penalty kicks in their CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card match before falling to Brentwood, 3-1, in the first round.
The team graduated one of the most decorated players in program history in Kira Bochard, the co-Pacific League Player of the Year and two-time Burbank Leader Girls’ Athlete of the Year.
“This is a really super committed team and they have all really bought in to the new culture and the new coaches,” Diaz said. “We are looking forward to the season, but really we’re rebuilding the program almost from scratch.
“I know we lost a very good player and she did a lot for the team last season. This year we only have four or five seniors. Obviously some of them graduated last year, but we had a couple of players who would have been seniors this year who decided not to play.”
Returning to help lead Burbank will be senior midfielder Victoria Mongiardo, junior midfielder/defender Maria Perez, junior forward Isabel Partida and senior defender Kamille Eugenio.
“We are hoping to build a culture here that players come through as freshmen and they can develop all the way until they are seniors,” Diaz said. “We want to build something that is going to be successful, not just for this season, but for years to come.”
The Indians (12-9-2, 8-5-1) finished third in the Pacific League behind champion Arcadia and runner-up Crescenta Valley. They fell in a Division IV wild card to Alemany, 4-0.
“We lost three really important seniors from last season and we also lost one key player who moved away, and she was only a sophomore and was our second-leading scorer,” Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said. “We might have some problems scoring goals this year, so we are going to have to have some people step up and take over that role for us. But we are going to be very solid in the back and our midfield is great. It will be just a matter of us putting up enough goals.”
Returning to shore up the Indians will be sophomore forward Trinity Vournas, senior forward Catrina Villapondo, junior midfielder Abbie Riggs, senior midfielder Maddy Sena, junior defender Carina Sierra and sophomore midfielder Olivia Cashman.
“It is a really good group that plays together as a team,” Brady Riggs said. “And the good thing is that we do have some talent. A lot of those girls have played a lot of soccer with one another and they work very well as a unit. They have a lot of experience and we will play great team soccer.
“I think coming out of the back and playing through the middle we’re going to be pretty good. I think we are going to keep possession a lot and hopefully we can do something with it.”
The Pioneers went 7-4 and captured the Independence League title with a 7-0 mark. In the seven league matches, Providence outscored its opponents, 36-7. Providence lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs to Ganesha, 6-0.
LeQuesne took over the program recently and is still assessing his talent.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do,” LeQuesne said. “It’s really hard for me to gauge where we’re at right now because I really don’t know what level our competition will be at … I have been with the girls for such a short time.
“But it is a good group of kids and they have been working hard and we seem to be getting better. They’ve also been respectful to what we’re trying to do.”
The Pioneers return their top player, senior midfielder Kelly Fitzgerald. Last season, Fitzgerald scored nine goals in six league matches and was named the Independence League Player of the Year.
“She looks like a player who we are going to rely on heavily,” LeQuesne said. “With the limited time that I have seen her, she has some abilities on the field, but also she’s a great organizer of the other players and she’s a great kid.”
Another returner, sophomore midfielder midfielder Carissa Guardado, has yet to join the squad as she is competing fin Saturday’s CIF Southern Section cross-country finals.
Two freshmen who could make impacts are Clare Davis and Kaylee Obermeyer.