Craig It wasn't about the wins; it was about the chemistry and the fun.
Nicole Dolence, Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer coach, said although the team only mustered one win, the girls learned a lot and had fun doing it.
"Looking back, it went well," Dolence said. "The team went through a few ups and downs, but overall the girls had fun. It was my first year coaching a varsity sport, and I enjoyed it."
Overall, the team finished 1-12-1, with its sole win coming against Eagle Valley.
The season started with a loss to Rifle.
Former head coach Dave Rodriguez was asked to resign April 6, and Dolence took over.
But, she said, her young team made up mostly of freshmen, was resilient.
"I think they went through a lot as a team," she said. "But, this was a resilient group of teens who stuck together and came together as a team."
Building team chemistry was key for Dolence.
"There were a lot of girls who had never played together before," she said. "It took a while to find the chemistry. But in the end, the girls were all friends."
Dolence said the team's record doesn't reflect how much they improved.
"Each game, they were better," she said. "And games we would have lost 10 to nothing last year, we were losing five to nothing."
No matter the score, however, the girls stayed a team, Dolence said.
"They always stuck together," she said. "They will keep coming together, and building."
Dolence said a large number of the players indicated they would return next year. She said a number of incoming freshmen also had expressed interest in joining the team.
"If they stick with it, and keep working on their skills over the summer, next year looks even better," she said.
Dolence said the most valuable offensive players on the team were sophomore Amanda Brewer and freshman Kelly Ciesco.
"They're just really hard workers, and they're able to control the ball," Dolence said. "Amanda has a monster foot - that girl can kick.
"She has a good shot, good at corner kicks. Kelly is too, and for them, it's just a matter of containing the ball."
Daniela Martinez led the team with a pair of goals on the season.
On defense, the most valuable players were goalkeeper Imelda Hernandez and junior Kelsey Grinstead.
"Imelda played goalie for the majority of the time," Dolence said. "And she did an amazing job - I think each game she prevented five or six goals.
"Kelsey was the unsung hero: quiet but a good asset to our team."
Another player Dolence credited as a key defensive piece was Lilli Torres.
"I know she wanted to play offense, but I needed her on D," Dolence said. "She's so fast. She was always able to catch up with the other team and prevent them from getting off a shot."
All of her players were at their best during the win against Eagle Valley.
"When we beat Eagle, you would have thought we won the World Cup," she said. "It was such a cool moment - I had to step away.
"I thought 'This is why I do this.' They finally had the confidence I had been searching for."
Although Dolence isn't sure whether she will return as the head coach next year, she said if the team keeps up their hard work, they are sure to improve their record.
"I'm proud of the girls," she said. "They worked hard, and if they work harder next year there will be more wins on the schedule."