“I just want to work hard on communicating and being nice to everyone because sometimes we forget about that since we are so close and we can be short-tempered. I really want to be a leader.”
—Kelsie Pomeroy, a Moffat County High School junior and girls varsity soccer player, about improving for next season
Moffat County High School juniors Skylar Tripp, Bailey Hellander and Kelsie Pomeroy admit this year wasn’t the best for the girls varsity soccer team.
While not every senior-to-be can expect a total overhaul following a poor season, this year’s crop may see the game change drastically for the 2012-2013 school year.
The girls soccer team finished its season May 3 with a 2-13 record, 1-11 in the 4A Western Slope League, tied for last place in the bracket.
This is the last year the Bulldog soccer program will play in the 4A level as MCHS athletics drops to the 3A for the next school year, which Coach Harry Tripp said will situate his players right where they should be.
“It’ll really be more of a competition for us,” Harry said. “I’ve always considered us to be a 3A team just because we have so many less students to pick from, and I think that’ll be good for them.”
Competing in 3A sports means the soccer team will face teams like Rifle and Grand Valley, both of which they played in non-conference games this year.
The team’s 5-3 win against Rifle was one of their best games.
Harry said he believes the amount of playing time his squad has put in against larger teams like Glenwood Springs, Delta and other 4A teams will put them on better footing next season.
“Glenwood has an A- a B-, and a C-team so they can pick and choose their best girls,” he said.
Besides starters returning for next season, the second string has already seen their share of minutes, as well.
“We’ve only had so many girls come out this year, and so I’ve been putting in JV players in varsity games off and on,” he said. “Some of them played the whole game sometimes.”
The team roster at the beginning of the season quickly got shorter and shorter as players were sidelined by injuries.
“We only had one senior this year because Frida (Meijer) blew out her knee and Karen Bolton twisted her ankle and was done in the first game,” he said.
Harry credited younger players like sophomores Brenna Ciesco and Jazmine Swindler with taking the initiative to notch up the team’s protection instincts and getting the ball off to the other side of the field.
“They’re all about defense,” Harry said. “They talk, they know how to back each other up and they’re like the perfect unit. What we need to work on is offense and just getting some good shots against the goalie.”
Pomeroy said the focus on defense tended to detract from the need for the Bulldogs to drive in some much-needed goals in their games.
“When we did shoot it was like the shots weren’t as good of quality as they should have been,” she said. “(Harry) always put me and Kelly (Ciesco) up forward farther and that was just kind of the job just for the two of us.”
While Kelly Ciesco will be saying farewell to the team as she graduates, eight players will be returning for their senior year.
Skylar, Harry’s daughter and the team’s goaltender, will be one of those seniors.
“It’ll be kind of the same but better since we’re changing in the league,” Skylar said. “We won’t know what a lot of these teams will be like (in 3A), so we won’t be judging them from the start. Like when we play Steamboat we know how good they are and we underestimate ourselves, and next year we won’t.”
Pomeroy said her objectives for next season are all within her own team.
“I just want to work hard on communicating and being nice to everyone because sometimes we forget about that since we are so close and we can be short-tempered,” she said. “I really want to be a leader.”
As much help as the upperclassmen may be, incoming freshmen could take time to acclimate to the game’s more competitive levels.
In addition to the move to 3A, Harry said he hopes to help form a soccer team at Craig Middle School to smooth the transition into high school sports.
“Jeff (Simon) has said he wants the middle school to have every sport the high school has so they can be ready,” he said. “It’s a big step, and there are a couple girls I know who are interested in going to camp with us this summer, so that will help prepare them.”
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.