Truckee soccer preview | New girls’ coach takes over talented Wolverine squad |

Truckee soccer preview | New girls’ coach takes over talented Wolverine squad

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright / Sierra SunTruckee senior Shauna Day returns after earning All-League Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2010.

First-year Truckee girlsand#8217; soccer coach Katie Jamison couldnand#8217;t have asked for a better group of players to inherit.

Jamison, who took over the varsity program after former coach Amy Valdivia moved away in the offseason, is well aware of her good fortune.

and#8220;Absolutely,and#8221; she said, giving credit to the Wolverinesand#8217; rich tradition of success. and#8220;Iand#8217;ve been very blessed. Amy and Hernan did a fantastic job with both the girlsand#8217; and the boysand#8217; program. Itand#8217;s going to be very fun to see what the girls can accomplish from here.and#8221;

The Wolverines have already accomplished more than any other girlsand#8217; soccer team in Nevada history, winning an NIAA record eight state championships, with the last three coming in succession from 2007 to 2009. Last yearand#8217;s bid for a fourth straight title ended with a 3-0 loss to eventual champion South Tahoe in the state semifinal round.

While the defending champs return a strong team again on the South Shore, Jamison thinks her Wolverines have the ability to add to the schooland#8217;s trophy case.

and#8220;Theyand#8217;re really starting to come together,and#8221; said Jamison, who was head coach of the Truckee girlsand#8217; JV team the past three seasons. and#8220;Weand#8217;re lucky to have such naturally gifted athletes. Itand#8217;s almost not as much about coaching as it is just getting them comfortable together. And itand#8217;s finally starting to happen.and#8221;

Jamison, whose Wolverines are off to a 4-4-1 start overall and 1-0 in the Sierra League, said Truckee players are just beginning to grasp the structure of a new style of play that sheand#8217;s teaching.

and#8220;Iand#8217;m very proud of the girls so far. Iand#8217;ve thrown a lot of challenges at them. The type of soccer that theyand#8217;re going to play is much different than what theyand#8217;ve played in the past, and theyand#8217;ve really taken on that challenge and made it their own. And I think itand#8217;s going to show in a positive way this year,and#8221; said Jamison, explaining that she got the idea while studying soccer strategy in Peru this past summer.

The new formation will involve two forwards, five midfielders and three offensive-minded defenders, Jamison said.

and#8220;Ideally, once we get down to grit of it, defenders will probably be our leading scorers. Itand#8217;s a different structure, more based on possession and controlling the ball, and waiting for the other team to make a mistake and then pouncing. Forcing shots doesnand#8217;t help anybody, so itand#8217;s about discipline and teaching the girls how to maintain the field,and#8221; the coach said.

With a talented roster 23 players deep, Truckee has more than enough capable athletes to figure it out. And while they lost All-State MVP Kelsi Decker to graduation, the Wolverines return a number of All-League performers.

Senior forward Shauna Day returns after being voted All-Sierra League Offensive Player of the Year, as do All-League second team selections Serena Dill at forward, Olivia Duner and Ali Haines in the midfield and Alex Mezger on defense. Seniors Sammy Holoday and Allene Kennedy also return after earning honorable mention recognition in 2010.

Sophomore defender Maison Power, sister of the recently graduated Kennedy Power, has stood out on the field so far, Jamison said, as have Molly Redmond, Claire Roberts and Ashley Harris in the midfield, Kaylee Neill at forward and Sarah Williams, mostly on defense. Jamison also is excited about having two equally talented goalies in Gina Bauerline and Cassandra Sawyer, who have split time in the preseason.

Haines, Mezger and Duner are team captains.

With everyone in place and understanding the nuances of Jamisonand#8217;s new changes, the goal now is to go out and win another state title.

and#8220;That is absolutely one of our goals,and#8221; Jamison said. and#8220;The other one is to just completely dominate the play on the field, with accurate passing and maintaining possession throughout the entire game.and#8221;

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