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    Offensive-minded Blue Streaks have potential

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    Madison opens the 2021 season with six returning starters, all on the offensive side of the ball, leaving the Blue Streaks focused on the attack.

    If all goes well, Madison could be in a position to make another deep postseason run.

    “Offensively, we are returning a lot of firepower including four of the top five top goal scorers from last year,” said eighth-year head coach Chad Butler. “If that attacking core can get the ball moving up the field with intent, they will be tough to stop.”

    Madison’s challenge is developing on the defensive side of the field.

    “We graduated every starting defender from last season,” Butler said. “Rebuilding an entire defense is going to take time, but the leaders we have on the defensive end have a great respect for the shoes they’re trying to fill. They have been preparing for this moment long before the 2020 season ended.”

    Madison finished the 2021 season with a 9-6-3 record overall and a 5-1-1 mark in the Western Reserve Conference.

    The Blue Streaks have the potential to be even better this season. That success begins with the Blue Streaks coming together as one unit.

    “There is enough talent to do great things,” Butler said. “They need to believe that no victory is outside of their reach. We won’t do much in any season if we don’t build strong relationships with each other. If we play like a team and celebrate everyone’s success as a collective achievement, we will find a way to win.”

    Madison returns four players who earned All-WRC honors last season.

    Senior forward Katie Frania is back after scoring seven goals with five assists as a junior.

    “Katie is tireless in her pursuit of possession,” Butler said. “Her speed and relentless physicality allow her to get behind defenses and make something happen.”

    The Blue Streaks are experienced and talented in the midfield.

    Seniors Reagan Swinarski, Emma Burgard, and Amelia Swinarski all return and will be expected to lead the charge.

    Reagan Swinarski scored five goals with 14 assists last season on the way to earning second-team All-Greater Cleveland. Burgard and Amelia Swinarski both earned honorable mention All-Greater Cleveland honors. Swinarski scored 12 goals with nine assists.

    “Reagan has been a captain of our program for three years. She leads by example with a work rate second to none. Leading the team in assists last year was no accident as she is always looking to spread the ball into dangerous spots and create chances,” Butler said. “Emma is a warrior in the midfield who is constantly pressuring the other team and creating turnovers. She defends with acute prowess and restarts the attack in the same breath. Amelia is a magician with the ball at her feet and vicious in her pursuit of it. As a freshman, she led the team in overall points and was tied on goals with 2020 Senior Haylee Winfield.”

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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