Truckee soccer | Rebuilt girls’ team shows early promise | SierraSun.com

Truckee soccer | Rebuilt girls’ team shows early promise

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

File photoOlivia Duner, shown competing in the rain against South Tahoe last season, returns as one of the Wolverines' three senior captains.

On the surface, the loss of three top returners and nine seniors from a year ago would seem like a devastating blow to the Truckee girls’ soccer team.

Yet, second-year head coach Katie Jamison is not concerned.

and#8220;We’re looking really strong,and#8221; Jamison said. and#8220;When we first started it was interesting, because we’re kind of doing a rebuild this year. We lost a lot of seniors to graduation and have had some pretty significant injuries, but we’ve got a very strong dynamic going, and the players are really starting to mold well together.and#8221;

Aside from the nine seniors who graduated and#8212; including All-League Offensive Player of the Year Shauna Day and All-League selections Ali Haines and Serena Dill and#8212; Truckee also lost three additional standout players.

Senior defender Sarah Williams and junior midfielder Claire Roberts both will both miss the entire season with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, while junior All-League defender Maison Power moved to Arizona.

and#8220;We lost our whole defensive line and ended up having to rebuild,and#8221; Jamison said, and#8220;so (the) Galena (Tournament) was a little bit of an adventure for us. We had kind of a rough start.and#8221;

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That rough start was a 5-0 loss to Douglas to start the season-opening Galena Tournament last weekend. The Wolverines did bounce back to finish 2-2, however, as they defeated Faith Lutheran 2-1 and Elko 1-0 and lost 2-1 to Bishop Manogue.

So the ability is there, Jamison said. The team just needs time to fully round into form.

Despite all the players gone, the Wolverines return nine from last year’s team, and boast nine seniors total on their 18-player roster. Senior fourth-year varsity starter Olivia Duner is among the top returners, sharing team captain duties with seniors Shelby Matthews and Melissa Cardoza.

Jamison said she moved Duner from midfield up to forward to help bolster the offense. She also will rely on senior Kaylee and#8220;Nedand#8221; Neill to provide offensive production at forward, as well as senior Ashley Harris and junior Quinn Parker, who proved at the track and field state championship this past spring that she is the fastest sprinter in the state at the Division I-A level (formerly 3A).

Truckee should also receive significant offensive support from its midfield, which Jamison said stands out as a strength, anchored by Cardoza, Matthews, junior Karina Rivera and sophomore Emma Warren.

The defense, meanwhile, and#8220;has been an adventureand#8221; so far, Jamison said, although junior Melisa Pena and sophomore Sarah Svoboda both played solid defense at the Galena Tournament, she added.

At goalie, senior Cassandra Sawyer and sophomore Paulina Thrasher are battling for the starting job, with Sawyer holding the initial edge based on her varsity experience.

and#8220;Cassandra and Paulina are pushing each other daily. Cassandra has more varsity experience, but Paulina is a very strong goalie,and#8221; Jamison said. and#8220;It’s going to be interesting to see how the season unfolds for both of them.and#8221;

Jamison said while this year’s team is not as physically strong as last year’s group and#8212; which finished 14-8-2 and lost 1-0 to Elko in the state semifinal and#8212; it has shown great skill across the board.

and#8220;Last year we had an advantage in that our girls were solid and could run through anybody, and this year it’s a very different dynamic because this group has a really nice finesse and lots of patience,and#8221; the coach said. and#8220;They have an insane amount of patience this year. It’s fun to watch.and#8221;

As far as Truckee’s Mount Rose League pod, Jamison said she expects two-time defending state champion South Tahoe to again field a great team, while North Tahoe and Incline and#8220;are looking strongand#8221; as well. The Wolverines will learn about the rest of their Northern division this weekend in the Division I-A Crossover Tournament in Fallon.

Truckee owns a Nevada-record eight state championships, which they last won consecutively from 2007 to 2009.