Moffat County junior Jazmine Swindler looks to cross the ball during a girls soccer game vs. Vail Christian. The Bulldogs are confident they can be a contender in Class 3A this season.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Moffat County junior Jazmine Swindler looks to cross the ball during a girls soccer game vs. Vail Christian. The Bulldogs are confident they can be a contender in Class 3A this season.

Moffat County girls soccer much improved

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Remaining soccer schedule

March 29 at Rangely

April 11 at Basalt

April 12 at Rifle

April 13 vs. Coal Ridge

April 19 vs. Grand Junction Central

April 20 vs. Colorado Rocky Mountain

April 23 vs. Roaring Fork

April 25 at Aspen

April 27 vs. Rangely

April 29 vs. Aspen

May 1 at Fruita Monument

Home games played at Woodbury Sports Complex

— Despite a 1-3 start, Moffat County High School girls soccer coach Harry Tripp is encouraged by his team’s chances.

That’s because the Bulldogs have looked good in Tripp’s eyes, even in those losses.

The Lady Bulldogs went 2-13 last season in Class 4A league. Tripp thinks the move to Class 3A this year will provide them with many winnable games as the season goes on.

Wednesday was one of the team’s first outdoor practices of the season, a benefit many of the Bulldogs’ opponents already have enjoyed. Tripp said more time on a real field will make a huge difference.

“We’re going to be able to see how the ball rolls on the grass, and the even bigger thing is we’ll get to start shooting on real nets,” he said. “The girls will actually see more of what they’re supposed to be shooting at.”

The shooting will be especially helpful, because finishing has been the most glaring absence for the Bulldogs so far.

Moffat County got off 41 shots in its first three games but scored just one goal.

“The only thing we’ve been lacking is putting it in the net,” Tripp said.

In moving to Class 3A league, the Bulldogs are mostly in the dark as far their opponents. Grand Valley was the only team Tripp saw play last season.

But junior Allie Ehlers played for Coal Ridge last season and has been able to provide a little scouting, including common formations in Class 3A.

Looking ahead, Tripp said the Bulldogs are scheduled to play some winnable games.

“It’s still early. I told (the team), ‘don’t get your confidence down,’” he said. “Right now the league looks a little soft relative to what we were playing last year. I think we can win some games and get confidence going.”

To do that, the coach says communication will be the key for Moffat County — as well as improved shooting.

“We’ll need to keep working on our communication,” he said. “Calling out names when you’re passing the ball, calling out defensive assignments. They’ve all impressed me a lot so far.

“In years past, we’ve struggled with good passes, but this year it’s been much better.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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