Rowlett girls seek defense of district title
The bar is set high for the Rowlett girls soccer team and those expectations can be summed up pretty easily.
"Win district, make it to regionals ... state," Rowlett head coach Jason Fegraeus said.
Those are lofty goals for any program, but should not be considered unrealistic for the Eagles.
Rowlett has made the playoffs 10 seasons in a row. Since 2007, the Eagles have made it past the first round every season, including a trip to the regional tournament in 2009.
Rowlett has also made it to the regional quarterfinals three times during that stretch, including last season, when they were knocked off by rival Sachse, a team it had defeated twice during the regular season.
While it was a disappointing finish, that should only add more motivation for a team that returns several key players from a group that posted a 18-3-3 record and won a share of the district championship a year ago.
Rowlett should be strong on both sides of the field. Junior Grayson Byrd, who had 16 goals last season, returns up front, as does forward Haley Rodriguez, who has committed to the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
The Eagles feature a field general in the middle of the field in Texas Tech commitment Meagan McCullough, who was the 10-5A midfielder of the year last season,, as well as junior Amy Parra. Junior Ashley Catlin should also see an expanded role at midfielder.
Defensively, Rowlett is led by senior Taylor Magnus, a first-team all-district selection last season.
In goal, the Eagles have a situation that many teams would love to have with two standout keepers in seniors Pilar Morales and Haley Campbell.
While Rowlett is stocked with experience, there is still work to be done early on in the season, as Fegraeus said the team will experiment with different formations, while at the same time building team chemistry for what they hope will be an 11th consecutive playoff appearance.
The Eagles will open 11-5A play on Feb. 5 against Garland, but they should be well-tested prior to that, as they are scheduled to play in the Plano Tournament on Thursday through Saturday and then at the Duncanville Kickoff Classic next week.