Girls soccer making a return to basics | CraigDailyPress.com

Girls soccer making a return to basics

MCHS girls varsity soccer focusing on fundamentals this season

Ben Bulkeley
Raquel Robinson rounds a cone during the soccer team's conditioning workout March 3 at the Craig Middle School gymnasium. The Moffat County High School girls soccer teams will open their season Saturday at Eagle Valley.Shawn McHugh

Girls varsity soccer team at a glance

Coach: Harry Tripp

Returning seniors: 5

2009 record: 1-12-1

Players to watch:

• Amanda Brewer: The junior was the Bulldogs' offensive spark plug last season and likely will be among the leaders in goals again this season.

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• Imelda Hernandez/Skylar Tripp: Like last season, the Bulldogs' goalies will be expected to anchor the team's defense.

New faces:

• Eighteen freshmen will suit up for the varsity and junior varsity soccer teams this season. That total represents half of the team, which means first-year head coach Harry Tripp will have a solid core for years to come.

Harry Tripp, first-year Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer coach, wants two things from his team this season.

"My goal for this year is for them to get along as a family," he said. "And my personal goal is for them to go to the playoffs."

With five teams from the Western Slope League represented in the playoffs, Tripp said his goal would be to have the Bulldogs sneak in.

"I want them to strive to get to that fifth place," he said.

A year removed from a 1-12-1 performance, Tripp, who previously coached in traveling leagues, will try to bring fundamentals back to MCHS girls soccer.

"I'm going to try and bring my experience," he said. "I've grown up playing soccer for more than 20 years, and I've coached a lot of the freshmen since they were 8 years old."

With his older players, Tripp wants to see an emphasis on playing the game the right way and with heart, he said.

"With a lot of my seniors and juniors, I'm going to be bringing basics back to them," he said. "I'm going to bring back the basics and a lot of 'Never give up.'

"If somebody steals the ball, never give up. You keep going and going and going."

Turning around a team double the size of last season's squad will take a lot of communication, Tripp said.

"I have been trying to get them to think about the triangle offense," he said. "Once you trap that ball, you look up and look for somebody to pass it to, instead of just kicking it.

"We don't want to be that team that just traps it and kicks it. I want us to think 'You have a player here, and you have a player here,' and start talking to each other and look up and pass."

To get there, the team has been working on passing and dribbling drills.

But the team has one definite advantage over previous MCHS girls varsity squads.

"I think our strength is our depth," Tripp said. "For maybe the first time in Moffat County history we have a JV team. We have 36 girls who are playing, so we will have 18 on varsity, and (assistant coach) Cathy Copeland will have 18 on JV."

Senior Anastasia Todd has been with the team all four years of her high school career.

For her final year, Todd said she wants to not only best last season's win total but have the Bulldogs be major players in the league.

Having 36 players on the team helps toward both goals, Todd said.

"We have so many more girls, which is awesome," she said. "We'll have subs, and there will be more competition on varsity.

"I think this year is going to be a lot of fun."

Girls varsity soccer team at a glance

Coach: Harry Tripp

Returning seniors: 5

2009 record: 1-12-1

Players to watch:

• Amanda Brewer: The junior was the Bulldogs’ offensive spark plug last season and likely will be among the leaders in goals again this season.

• Imelda Hernandez/Skylar Tripp: Like last season, the Bulldogs’ goalies will be expected to anchor the team’s defense.

New faces:

• Eighteen freshmen will suit up for the varsity and junior varsity soccer teams this season. That total represents half of the team, which means first-year head coach Harry Tripp will have a solid core for years to come.

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