Of the 12 seniors that graduated last season from Truman High School and its girls soccer team, eight of them were Examiner All-Area selections.

Of the 12 seniors that graduated last season from Truman High School and its girls soccer team, eight of them were Examiner All-Area selections.

Five of the dozen were first-team All-Area performers and two were second team.

Two – Sarah Franklin and Kristi Blau – left as the two highest scoring players in school history.

So what’s in store this season for a Truman team that returns several players from last season’s conference and district championship team, including second team All-Area performers Amy Soto and Chrystal Schroeder and letter winners Amber Young, Shayla Jochum and Sandra Chiles?

“We have a lot of girls who haven’t had a lot of varsity experience,” said Patriots first-year coach Jared Byrne. “We have some that have. We returned maybe four or five girls, so that’s a good base. Two of them are hurt, though (including Schroeder). So that kind of puts us behind. We kind of have to play with our hands tied ... We don’t have anybody that’s stepped out yet, but Amber Young has definitely improved over the last year. She’s the main (scoring) threat, I would say. I think if we give her a little bit more help up top, we’ll be all right as far as the season goes.”

The Patriots opened the season Tuesday with a penalty-kick loss to Fort Osage, and the rebuilding process may be a challenging one this season for Byrne and his staff.

“It was a really big loss,” Chiles said of the departed seniors. “We lost 12 starting seniors, and we just need to work on finishing like we did last year. We lost our head coach (Bryan Schmitt), but Byrne has stepped up and worked really good with us. I think we’re getting better, too. We’ve gotten a lot better.”

Improvement is something Byrne said he has seen as well since the first day of spring practice.

“We’re starting to figure it out and that’s good,” he said.