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Tigers encounter one of toughest schedules in history of Oakville's girls' soccer program

We often hear coaches talk about how their teams are "battle-tested" and "built for the playoffs."

Dave Robben, the head coach of the girls' soccer team at Oakville Senior High School is putting that concept into motion this season as the Tigers encounter one of their toughest schedules in the history of the program.

The reason for the change in scheduling is because the Tigers are overflowing with talent this season and because of their 1-0 loss in penalty kicks to Rockwood Summit in last year's district championship game.

"Things are beginning to shape up for us," Robben told the Call. "This group of seniors has a lot of experience."

Oakville will have the luxury of having two top scoring threats this season in senior forwards Lisa Pucci and Cathy Headrick.

"They work really well together and play off each other really well," Robben said. "They're two different types of players that play up top."

Last season, Pucci led the Tigers with 15 goals and seven assists, while Headrick racked up 13 goals and five assists.

"Lisa's an excellent one-on-one player who's good at taking people on," Robben said.

"Cathy is kind of a breakaway threat when the ball's placed behind the other team's defense."

Seniors Jackie Roepke and Jessica Liss will shore up a stout defense this season that held opponents to 15 shutouts during the 2003 campaign.

"Jackie's strength is her ability to mark the other team's top player and she also has the ability to read the game very well," Robben said.

"Jessica's recovering from her injury from last year and is looking really good this year."

Roepke scored four goals and three assists for the black and gold last season.

Another member of the Tigers' defense this season will be senior goalkeeper Valerie Vogler, who posted a record of 10-5 overall with four solo shutouts and a 0.71 goals-against average.

"Val's a solid keeper," Robben said. "She has a lot of experience at the high school and club level.

"She's a real veteran at that position who's very good at organizing the defense."

The Tigers open up their 2004 girls' soccer team season in the Hazelwood Central Shootout Monday, March 22, against Parkway West.

The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start at SportPort.

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