STHS girls’ soccer team eyes improvement in transition
The South Tahoe High School girls’ soccer team is returning a large contingent of starters to a squad that made the semifinals of the Northern Nevada 4A zone tournament last year.
This year, the focus is team speed.
“We only lost five seniors and we are returning 12 and they were pretty much all starters, so we’re looking good,” said head coach Julia Russell.
STHS was undefeated through the regular season last year before suffering a 6-1 rout at the hands of Reed in the region semifinals.
“It was all very traumatic,” Russell said, noting that the team learned some valuable lessons from the loss.
“We would like to monopolize on our transitioning because Reed did that very well,” she said. “They beat us to the goal. We are an excellent passing team, but we’re going to work on our creativity. We’re going to condition to be faster. We have very fast girls in the backfield, but (Reed) just got that little jump on us in transition. We will start incorporating strength and speed work along with agility (and) then do a lot of drilling with the ball so that everyone feels comfortable enough to be creative.”
Kelly Meyer, a senior forward and last year’s top scorer, said many of the players have been practicing voluntarily through the summer to be better prepared for the upcoming season.
“We’ve been going out every Thursday and scrimmaging and some of us have gotten together weekly to run and work out,” Meyer said. “I think as a team we need to work on sticking together for the whole season. We are going to have a really strong, talented team this year with something like 13 seniors.”
A key opening is at goalkeeper, since Erika Gonzalez and Sierra Shipley were both lost to graduation.
“They pretty much shared equal time at goal and they will be sorely missed,” Russell said.
Also lost to graduation was forward Alyssa Reilly.
Russell said having players who have been together for a few years is a bonus but can also be a detraction.
“As a team, being together for so long they have developed a pattern that they are comfortable with,” she said. “We would like to add on to their game by being less patterned and more free thinking.”
The team’s schedule this season may change some as well.
“We’re going to incorporate some more teams like North Tahoe and Truckee, teams we haven’t played very much in the past,” Russell said. “Mostly it’s the same big (teams) — Reed, Reno, Douglas, Carson — those are our true challenges.”
Meyer said shooting for a state title this year is not unrealistic.
“The state title is pretty much what we’re going for,” she said. “We want to win zone this year and leave Julia and the Vikings with a title. I think our biggest competition this year will be Douglas. From what we’ve heard they have been preparing to play us all summer, so we’re excited to play them.”
Meyer, who has been in physical therapy to help heal a knee injury, hopes to be 100 percent when the season gets under way.
“I’m ready. I’m a little worried about my knee, but overall I think I should be fine,” she said, adding that this will be the last year to play with many of her longtime friends and teammates.
“I’ve played with these girls for 10 years and this will be our last together, so that’s kind of sad,” she said.
Sept. 2 At Damonte 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 At North Tahoe 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 REED 11 a.m.
Sept. 9 RENO 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 11 TRUCKEE 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 At Wooster 11 a.m.
Sept. 16 At Douglas 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 At Carson 11 a.m.
Sept. 23 N. VALLEYS 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 At Hug 3 p.m.
Sept. 30 SPANISH SPRINGS 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 At Reno 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 NORTH TAHOE 3 p.m.
Oct. 11 WOOSTER 3 p.m.
Oct. 14 DOUGLAS 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 CARSON 3 p.m.
Oct. 21 At N. Valleys 3 p.m.
Oct. 25 HUG 11 a.m.
Nov. 1-8 State/Region TBA
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