What a difference a year makes for Carla Bamford and the Moffat County High School girls soccer team.
Last season, the team struggled to win one game and didn't have enough players for a JV team. This season, not only did it have enough players to field a JV team, the Bulldogs won three league games and went 5-4-2.
"We have a lot of talented young players," said Bamford. "With the exception of a couple of the ladies who started on varsity, I tried to get the underclassmen varsity and JV playing time."
Seven seniors started on the varsity team this year and those spots will need to be filled for next year's team.
"The younger girls are anxious to take over where the seniors left off," Bamford said. "From what we saw in the JV games as well as their time on varsity, we have a lot coming back."
One of the more gaping holes to fill next year will be that of senior goalie Kelly Howle. A three-year starter in front of the net, Howle kept the Bulldogs in many games during her tenure.
Splitting time in goal for the JV team this year were Michelle Workman and Brooke Archibeque. Bamford said both are capable of taking over for Howle.
"The advantage with those girls is that they can both play in the field as well," Bamford said. "So when one is in goal, we don't lose anything with the other who is in the field."
On defense, the JV Bulldogs were without freshmen Jessica Uecker and Brittany Rummel for most of the season because they anchored the varsity defense.
On offense, the Bulldogs scored by committee. Among the attackers were Jenna Cook, Maggie Blackstun, Michelle Workman and Lauren Stover and Kayloni Grinolds. Blackstun and Workman also scored varsity goals.
"They are only allowed 30 halves in a season," Bamford said. "So normally I would play them one half on varsity and one half on JV."
With a winning record on JV, will the Bulldogs expect the same on varsity next season?
"Like I said, we have a lot of talent coming back," Bamford said. "I think they expect to keep improving the program."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org