Experienced Demons kick into ’02 season
There’s an air of anticipation at the practice sessions for the Glenwood Springs girls soccer team this spring.
A strong core of experienced players, including a handful of all-Western Slope League selections, return for coach Steve White’s Demons.
The returning experience has added excitement to the training sessions and expectations for the season, according to White.
“We’ve got a lot of experience coming back. But we’re still shuffling a lot of people around in different positions.” White said as the Demons prepared for the preseason, with the 4A WSL season down the road.
“We’re really looking forward to this year,” said the veteran soccer coach.
The Demons will get right back to match play after spring break when they host nonleague opponent Roaring Fork on Tuesday afternoon at Stubler Memorial Field in Glenwood Springs.
A tough 1-0 road loss at Grand Junction Central kicked off the season for the Glenwood Springs girls last week.
“But really, I feel like we played well,” White said of the pre-spring break opener.
“We had a lot of shots and a majority of possession,” White said, adding that their shots were too direct.
A tall, active Central goalkeeper made the saves, but didn’t dim the enthusiasm of White and his Demons.
White’s corps of returning players is includes Cassie Carlson and Heidi Wild, returning first-team all-league selections last year.
Carlson returns as a junior and Wild is a sophomore.
Also coming back are a pair of all-league honorable mention selections: senior Sarah Cunningham and junior Chelsea Strautman.
“Heidi is our best defender. She’s doing everything well,” White said of the player who will key the Demon defense.
Ashley Jentzsch also returns to the defense with experience from a year ago. Also handling defensive duties will be abby Willman and Amy Ackerman, who shares time at midfield.
Brieanne Rippy and Cunningham will work in the midfield, putting their experience to use there, White said.
Up front and on the wings, White said Carlson and Strautman will play along with Shannon Smiley, among others.
Becca Lundin and Ashley Holtum, along with Heather Hert, add to the experienced lineup that White will send to the field this season.
Back in goal, the Demons will use Keegan Nadon and Michelle McReynolds. McReynolds was the starting JV goalkeeper last year.
They will handle the duties vacated with the graduation of Savanna Stepp, an all-league honorable mention player last year and a three-year starter in goal.
After Tuesday’s match against Roaring Fork, the Demons will step right into conference play with a home match against Palisade.
Then on Saturday, March 30, the Glenwood Springs girls will play at Moffat County.
A pair of highly anticipated showdowns with perennial power Steamboat Springs will be played April 4 in Glenwood and April 30 in Steamboat (the final regular-season match of the year).
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