Demons set to kick off season
Glenwood Springs girls soccer coach Steve White is returning the kind of talent that makes fellow coaches drool.
At sweeper, Class 4A Western Slope League Player of the Year and first-team all-stater Heidi Wild is back for her junior year. The front line features senior all-state honorable mention Chelsea Strautman, who set school scoring records as a junior.
And, don’t forget the midfield. Another all-state honorable mention player in Cassie Carlson anchors the crew.
“We lost some quality players from our senior class, but we definitely bring the strength back on this team,” White said. “We may not have the depth we’ve had in the past, but it’s definitely a solid starting lineup.”
Strautman set school records last year in goals (22) and assists (12) and finished third in Class 4A in offensive production. Ella McReynolds is penciled in as the other starting striker on what should be an explosive offensive unit.
“We’re going to be pretty offensive-minded,” White said. “With the personnel we’ve got it’s definitely going to be an offensive game. I’d rather win 5-4 than not get the goal production.”
Carlson and fellow midfielder Shannon Smiley will direct the offensive attack from the inside spots, while senior Amy Ackerman and junior Brittney Rippy are slated to fill the outside spots.
Stopper Ashley Jentzseh will likely create some offense, along with her defensive duties, and Abby Willman and Michelle McReynolds play the wing defenders.
If opponents sneak by Wild, junior Keegan Nadon, who posted a .75 goals-against average last season, returns for her second year in goal.
“I think we can get as deep in the playoffs as we’ve ever gone,” White said. “Our goal right now is to be ranked in the top eight in the postseason polls before the state seeding takes place.
“If we can get into the top eight and hold some attention from the Eastern Slope, we’ll get the first round at home,” he added. “That’s an important spot to be in.”
The Demons advanced through the regional round before losing the state tourney opener last season.
Glenwood opens its season today at 4 p.m. at Grand Junction High School.
The Roaring Fork girls soccer team fell one place short of qualifying for the regional round of Class 3A postseason play in 2002, and head coach Gail Rippe hopes strength in numbers could get the team over the hump this year.
For the first time in Rippe’s 5-year tenure, the Rams will likely field a junior varsity squad.
And numbers could be important as Rippe plans to run an up-tempo, finesse game this season.
“We don’t have a real power squad,” Rippe said. “Power is not the name of the game, teamwork is.”
Junior defender Tarn Udall is a returning all-Western Slope selection and will anchor the back line along with senior Katie Stewart. Senior Alyson Romanus earned all-league honorable mention accolades for her work as goaltender last season and will likely platoon at the position with Leslie Jazz.
Offensively, junior Erin Young was the Rams’ leading scorer last season and “plays all over the field,” according to Rippe.
Young and senior midfielder Chelsea Tiernan were both honorable mention selections last season.
“Our main goal is to finish in the top three in the league and our pie-in-the-sky goal would be to go as far in state tournament as we can,” Rippe said.
The Rams will be tested early, taking on Class 4A Montrose on the road today at 4 p.m.
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