The Rose Hill girls soccer team was free of injuries during most of its path to the Class 5-1A quarterfinals.
The Rockets didn't have to wait long to get a taste of the injury bug this year.
Midfielder Olivia Hull broke her collarbone on a spring break trip and won't return to the field until late this season at the earliest. A sophomore, she scored 10 goals and had four assists last year.
"Olivia, she was our best all-around player and was elected as a co-captain as just a sophomore," Rockets coach Jerry Treat said. "You lose so much technical ability with Olivia, those are skills that are hard to replace."
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Helping to fill in will be one of the Rockets' few seniors, captain Meaghan Perry. But the majority of the weight will come from a core of sophomores.
Sophomore McKenzie Smith, Kalyn Pfaff — who transferred from Andover Central — and sophomore Mikayla Sisher, who plays midfield alongside Hull, should give the Rockets stability on defense.
"We have a good defense and good speed up top," Sisher said. "I think we can come back from (losing Hull), we just have to play to our strengths."
The best asset for Rose Hill to lean on is Smith, the team's goalkeeper who showed last year she can carry a team. Smith gave up less than a goal per game last year.
"She is a strong goalkeeper, there's no other way to put it," Treat said. "She is incredibly tough 1-on-1 and intense. She can keep you in a game."
Treat, who regularly changes up his formations anyway, was forced to change up his plans for this team.
But that doesn't mean Rose Hill's goals have diminished, because Treat knows that as long as Smith is in goal, the Rockets have a shot.
"Our goal is to still win league," Treat said. "As long as you got a great goalkeeper, you always have a shot. You can advance without even scoring, you can do some damage with a great defense."