If the second season of Special District 2 girls’ soccer seems a bit longer than the inaugural campaign last season, that’s because it is.

Instead of a jumbled schedule that saw some teams playing eight conference games, some seven and some six in 2010, each team will play each other team twice in a home-away series this year.

Riverside coach Paul Keefer said his team is hoping to capitalize on the new schedule and make a run at returning champion Portland Adventist and 2010 runner-up Horizon Christian of Tualatin, who he picked as the favorites to lead the league again.

Riverside Pirates

Coach: Paul Keefer, sixth year

Key Players: D Fabiola Lopez, Sr.; MF Sonia Barrera, Sr.; F Daniela Aceves, Sr.; D Yolanda Madrigal, Sr.; MF Stephanie Torres, Jr.; GK Samantha Hernandez, So.; F Jackie Lazama, So.

Returning Starters: 10

Returning Lettermen: 12

2010 Record: 2-6-4, 1-2-4 SD2

Four ties in league play left the Riverside Pirates wondering what could have been and coach Paul Keefer said he is trying to impress on his team that their window to make a serious run at state is closing fast.

With 10 returning starters and a strong junior class, Keefer said the Pirates have two more years of potential playoff teams before the rebuilding process begins.

One area of the team that is locked down for at least three more seasons is goal keeper.

Samantha Hernandez returns for her sophomore season after showing great leadership qualities as a freshman. She and the Pirate defense will look to improve on their league-high 36 goals allowed in 2010.

Keefer is looking for big things out of another sophomore and said he hopes to see speedy forward Jackie Lazama add some toughness to her game and become the team’s top scoring threat.

Umatilla Vikings

Coach: Tim Lee, second year

Key Players: MF/F Cristian Flores, Sr.; F Edith Mendoza, Sr.; D Susan Routson, Jr.; GK/MF Liticia Trujillo, Sr.; D Salene Tadeo, Jr.; F?Priscilla Bernal, So.

Returning Starters: 7

Returning Lettermen: 10

2010 Record: 2-6-2, 1-4-2 SD2

The Vikings have a large hole to fill on the league’s second-most stingy defense after graduating their best defender from last season — Catherine Routson.

Head Coach Tim Lee said it will be a hard spot to fill, but his team has been training and playing in summer leagues this year — giving them a leg up on past squads that took the summer months off or played other sports.

He said he sees the Vikings as a playoff team after a next-to-last finish in 2010.

With seniors Cristian Flores and Edith Mendoza leading the attack, Lee is confident the Vikings will score more than the 12 goals put up last season.

Lee said he is still trying to decided where to play “one of the most athletic girls in school” — senior Liticia Trujillo.

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