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Laker girls soccer building a program

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe senior Shain Wickman plays the ball during practice. Wickman is one of five seniors on the Laker squad.
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The North Tahoe girls soccer team is going through some changes, and that might be a good thing.

After the resignation of Kristen Ylander last year, who led the Lakers through three state championships, the girls soccer program has been taken over by Hans Palidini, who has playing experience in four countries and holds high-ranking coaching certifications in both the United States and Germany.

Palidini has coached both at the club and high school level in Santa Rosa before moving to the Tahoe area three months ago.



Now that he’s here, Palidini is looking to build a team under his own style at North Tahoe.

“I want to build a program,” Palidini said.



While he recognizes the sentiments of some of his older players’ resistance to change, he also wants to mold his team to the style he thinks will work the best.

And while some might disagree with Palidini’s style ” one which neglects the flanks and attacks quickly and centrally ” his point to his players is a valuable one, especially older players who may wish to continue their soccer career after graduation.

“They have to adapt to each coach and how they want to play,” Paladini said.

But even throughout the coaching transition, both players and coach agree that it will be talent that pulls North Tahoe to the forefront this season.

“There’s a lot of talent on the team,” senior midfielder Chelsea Patrick said.

Paladini agrees. He lists rather advanced aspects of the game such as set pieces and distribution out of the back as the areas where his team needs work and says that talent and athleticism are not really problems.

“I have some talented players,” Palidini said.

Under the three-forward system Palidini is trying to implement, he says the lightning-fast crew he’s playing up front is dangerous.

According to Palidini, Sage Clark has been a killer up top so far, with eight goals in three performances.

Add in Jenna Burnside, Michele Zarick and Chelsea Patrick and you’ve got yourself a dangerous attacking team.

And while Palidini said the defense is a bit inexperienced and needs work on distribution, the girls do their job.

“They’re not easy to get by,” the head coach said of his back line.

With a solid core of five seniors and plenty of raw talent and athleticism, this could be a good year for North Tahoe girls soccer.

And with an experienced coach willing to implement his agenda over the long run, it could also be the beginning of a dynasty.

“It’s going to be a really good legacy to leave behind,” senior defender Kacie Conn said.

North Tahoe hosts Truckee on Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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