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Utah Valley’s prep soccer should show well despite reclassification

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The more things change the more they remain the same.

Several local girls soccer teams are welcoming new head coaches this season as well as new players and new systems, but the top teams are unchanged.

Timpanogos headlines the six Utah County teams moving up to 5A this year. Timberwolves new head coach Jeni Viernes might not make it through her entire first season with the team as she's expecting a baby in mid-September, but the Timberwolves return plenty of talent from last year's squad that went undefeated in the regular season.

"We definitely expect to win our region and to perform well," said Viernes. "We've got a few freshmen, and new players that we're trying to work in."

Defending region champion Springville looks to be on top of the teams remaining in 4A. The Red Devils return Crosby Joyner, one of the state's top scorers, and new head coach Ryan Swanson plans to emphasize his team's attacking by playing a 4-3-3 formation.

"I think we've got a team that can win, but it's early in the season and we're still gelling," said Swanson. "They're getting used to my scheme."

Both Lone Peak and American Fork picked up some impressive early season wins and should compete for playoff spots. The Knights have started the season with three straight wins under new head coach in Mike LaHargoue. LaHargoue has taken over after leaving the same job at Mountain View where he led the Bruins to a state championship in 2001 and several region championships.

Timpview has a young team, but coach Jim Davis has led his team to the state semifinals in four consecutive seasons, and a fifth is not out of the question.

"We're young," said Davis. "These girls believe in each other and they know what they have to get done. It's a long ways to the playoffs."

Here's a closer look at each of the local teams:

Region 4

TIMPANOGOS TIMBERWOLVES

Head coach: Jeni Viernes

Key players: Karley Nelson, Stacey Bartholomew, Noelle Sanders

Last season: First in Region 7, lost in state quarterfinals

Outlook: Nelson and Bartholomew should put plenty of goals in the back of the net for the T-Wolves who should be one of the better teams in the state.

2005 region prediction: First

LONE PEAK KNIGHTS

Head coach: Mike Lahargoue

Key players: Shantel Flanary, Haley Brown, Lauren Hair

Last season: Fourth in Region 7, lost in first round of tournament

Outlook: The Knights are now headed up by one of the most successful coaches in recent state history, and there's already a marked change in the team's attitude and performance on the field.

2005 region prediction: Second

AMERICAN FORK CAVEMEN

Head coach: Mikelle Roth

Key players: Marissa Bradshaw, Lindsey Mitchell, April Hansen

Last season: Fourth in Region 6

Outlook: Wins over Timpview and Lehi in the preseason did not go unnoticed. The Cavemen should be a playoff team.

2005 region prediction: Third

MOUNTAIN VIEW BRUINS

Head coach: Sara Autuia

Key players: Erin Salmon

Last season: Second in Region 7, lost in first round of tournament

Outlook: Early season losses have set the Bruins back, but they should improve by year's end.

2005 region prediction: Fourth

PLEASANT GROVE VIKINGS

Head coach: Erik Bayles

Key players: Sara Elsey, Leah Stoker, Camille Broderick

Last season: Fifth in Region 7

Outlook: The Vikings have a strong defense but will need to score goals to have a chance at the playoffs.

2005 region prediction: Fifth

SPANISH FORK DONS

Head coach: Jeremy King

Key players: Krista Weatherford, Ginny Stahle

Last season: Sixth in Region 6

Outlook: Early indications are that the Dons will struggle in their first year in 5A.

2005 region prediction: Sixth

Region 7

SPRINGVILLE RED DEVILS

Head coach: Ryan Swanson

Key players: Crosby Joyner, Heather Hatfield, Rachel Fischer

Last season: First in Region 6, lost in first round

Outlook: Swanson has inherited a full cupboard. The Red Devils are quick and potent on offense, having already scored more then five goals in two games.

2005 region prediction: First

TIMPVIEW THUNDERBIRDS

Head coach: Jim Davis

Key players: Simmi Chahal, Natalie Sudweeks, Sana Halasima

Last season: Second in Region 6, lost in state semifinals

Outlook: Then young T-Birds have absorbed some early season losses, but late-season runs are a trademark of Davis' teams who are always playing their best soccer at the end of the year.

2005 region prediction: Second

PROVO BULLDOGS

Head coach: Cesar Cardoso

Key players: Chandra Salmon, Amber Wadsworth, Kristin Chambers

Last season: Third in Region 6, lost in first round

Outlook: The Bulldogs lost Jana Davis, the school's most prolific scorer, to graduation but still pack plenty of firepower and a very solid defense.

2005 region prediction: Third

LEHI PIONEERS

Head coach: Brett Bergholm

Key players: Kammi Hunt, Kyle Wardwell

Last season: First in Region 8, lost in 3A state semifinals

Outlook: Moving up classifications is never easy, but the Pioneers still have playoff potential.

2005 region prediction: Fourth

OREM TIGERS

Head coach: Ed Louder

Key players: Ann Shallenberger, Chelsey Norton, Aly Tucker

Last season: Third in Region 7, lost in first round

Outlook: More then half of the Tigers' roster is sophomores, but most of them had varsity experience last year. Louder's best team is probably still one year away.

2005 region prediction: Fifth

PAYSON LIONS

Head coach: Diana Plaisted

Key players: Shaylee Norton

Last season: Fifth in Region 6

Outlook: The Lions hope to improve on their three-win season last year but will be fighting uphill all the way in a very tough region.

2005 region prediction: Sixth.