Area 3A teams ready to get soccer season started |

Area 3A teams ready to get soccer season started

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE, Colorado ” After two years as a junior varsity-only program, Grand Valley is ready to give girls soccer a try at the varsity level.

The Class 3A Cardinals will make their debut on the pitch Thursday at Grand Junction Central against a 5A Warrior squad.

That’s not exactly a cupcake opponent to start out with, but Grand Valley head coach Kelly Clark is eager to get her team on the field.

Wanting to give soccer players in Parachute a chance to play beyond the youth club levels, Clark helped establish the program. She started as a parks and rec coach.

“I ended up coming and taking over the high school program, so the girls have somewhere to go,” Clark said.

And spending two years as a JV program before making the varsity leap will pay off in the long run, the Cardinal coach says.

“We felt good for the girls getting playing time under their belt at a competitive level before diving in with both feet with a varsity program,” Clark explained. “This way we could make sure our numbers were up and we’d be able to support two teams. We knew what we had coming up, so we kind of built it based on that.”

With more than 30 girls out, Grand Valley will be able to field both a varsity and JV team.

“We definitely have a lot of girls who want to play,” Clark said, “even quite a few first-timers.”

The Cardinals will play in the 3A Western Slope League and return a slew of experienced players. Among them are midfielders Kylee Dueitt, Brittney Garcia, forwards Shannon Schubert and Dannan Dueitt, utility player Mirna Vargas and goalkeeper Stephanie Hilgenbrinck.

Having held their own at the JV level last season, Clark expects a solid debut for her Cardinals.

“We’re hoping the girls will be able to step up to the challenge,” she said. “I think they will do OK.”

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Not wanting the Roaring Fork girls soccer program to fall by the wayside, Ivone Munoz stepped up and decided to take over as the Rams’ coach.

A rookie at this coaching thing, she’s doing her best to learn on the fly.

“I’ve never done it before, but we’re a soccer family,” Munoz said. “My daughter plays for the team. My son also plays. I play it a little bit, but coaching is all new to me.”

She does know the team fairly well, though. She’s an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher at Roaring Fork and she’s taken in games as the parent of Ram forward Kathy Vega.

With a talented group returning from last year, Munoz is optimistic.

Vega, midfielders Hanna Burleigh and Adrianna Romero, defender Shawn Clapper and goalkeeper Alli Zeigel are back from last year’s team. Munoz also expects contributions from a big freshmen class.

The Rams get the season started March 12 at home against Aspen.

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” Coal Ridge looks to build off a 2008 season that saw the Titans make the girls soccer postseason for the first time in school history.

The Titans went 8-5-2 overall last year, finishing second in the 3A Western Slope League and losing to Denver Christian 6-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

Coal Ridge opens the season Saturday at home against Vail Christian.

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Because of the myriad of other activities Colorado Rocky Mountain School students are involved in, the school will play an abbreviated girls soccer schedule of three to five games in 2009.

The team is made up of more than 25 girls.

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