This year’s Summit girls soccer team is not the same squad that reached the Class 5A state semifinals in 2016. It is not the same team that won four straight state titles from 2012 to 2015.

But Storm coach Jamie Brock knows the teams on their schedule do not see it that way.

“We always have a target on our back. We played Marist, and we lost, and Marist is going crazy,” Brock said during a practice at Cascade Indoor Sports gym last week, referring to a 3-1 defeat in Eugene in August. “This is going to be our reality. It doesn’t matter who we graduate. Everybody’s still going to call you Summit, so how do we rise to that challenge? And it’s frightening for some (players), and I think others are ready to step up to it.”

But nearly a month into the season, Brock said she still is not sure who will step into which roles on the reset Storm, who open Intermountain Conference play at Bend on Sept. 21. Like many other teams across Oregon, poor air quality caused by wildfires has wreaked havoc on Summit’s schedule, canceling jamborees and nonconference games and relegating practices to indoor facilities.

“I’ve never seen a season start like this,” said Brock, who is now in her 13th season as Summit coach. “When Summit’s field was all sunken in (in 2007-08), we practiced out at Sky View (Middle School), but we were still practicing outside. We’re playing indoors, and with a whole big group. We haven’t even looked at system of play, because we aren’t getting out on a field enough.”

In addition to renting time at an indoor field, Brock said the team has also practiced in the ­Summit hallways. Once, when even the air quality in the school was too poor to practice in, she had the players send in cellphone videos of them practicing their touches at home.

“While I have a lot of talent, I don’t know, necessarily, who is ready to step up,” Brock said. “We really are looking forward to getting some more games under their belts. There’s always that transition when you lose really standout kids, for another kid to be like, whoa, do I get this moment? Is this my moment?”

The Storm have lost first-team all-state players Meghan Day and Camille Weaver as well as ­Anniston Ward, who was a first-team all-IMC player in 2016. Brock estimated that those three, as well as Megan Cornett, were responsible for 40 of the Storm’s 93 goals scored in 2016. That leaves a big hole — or a big opportunity — in the Summit attack.

“In past years, we’ve had these big goal scorers, and we don’t have that anymore necessarily, because they all graduated,” said Michaela Gorman, a junior who was named second-team all-conference as a sophomore. “We’re trying to figure out who has those roles and who’s going to play where, so I’m getting shifted around a little bit right now.”

Gorman, who was on the Storm’s 2015 championship team as a freshman, said she and her teammates are still smarting from a 4-3 loss to Silverton in the state semifinals last November.

“They developed a legacy, and it’s heartbreaking to break that legacy,” Gorman said, referring to Summit players who won four straight state titles. “But sometimes you need to lose to kind of, like, get a sense of reality. Yeah, we are Summit, but we have to work for it. So I think it’s like a restart for us. And I think we can still get there.”

Like Gorman, senior goalkeeper Capra ­Williams said she started turning her sights to the 2017 season the day after the Storm’s semifinal loss.

“For goalkeepers, especially, we call it three-second memory: we lost, but now’s the time, get up off the ground, buck up and keep on going,” Williams said. “I’m glad we have another season to play for us seniors, and we better dig in and make the best of it. It might be a state championship, and that would be really cool. And if it’s not, we’re going to go out doing all we can to get there.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0305, vjacobsen@bendbulletin.com

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