Pendleton girls’ soccer has reason to belive it can grind out a top-two Columbia River?Conference finish this season.

On top of the Buckaroos (0-6) returning five key seniors on offense, coach Rocky Dillenburg said Hood River?Valley (5-0) and The Dalles Wahtonka (3-2) graduated their co-CRC players of the year and two senior-heavy classes.

With a solid midfield featuring seniors McKenzie Kennedy and Susana Argueta, Pendleton will look to use a more attacking-style offense this year. Dillenburg said his team has the talent to afford to be aggressive.

“We’re a lot more positive this year,” said senior Josie Sams. “Last year our team would yell at each other, but this year we’re focusing on the positives.”

Despite going winless in league last season, Pendleton started on a high by beating four of its five preseason opponents. This year’s preseason schedule will be identical, giving momentum early for a possible postseason push. 

“It’s much easier to coach a group that’s been through it for a couple years,” Dillenburg said. “We can pick up where we left off last year.”

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