Cougars have their goalie, strong base of returners
With a few pieces beginning to fall in place, you can’t blame Christopher High girls varsity soccer head coach Janae Pimentel for being excited.
Pimentel is certainly not counting her chickens before they hatch, but with the progress her team has shown through three short weeks of practice, the expectations for a successful 2010 are beginning to take shape.
For starters, Pimentel has her goalie, a segment of the puzzle the Cougars struggled to place a year ago. Freshman Lauren Ginn will fill those shoes.
“We didn’t have a goalie last year. Sometimes we lost by more than maybe we should have,” Pimentel. “Thank goodness we have a goalie this year.”
An 8-13 record in their inaugural campaign as a junior varsity program has the Cougars chomping at the bit entering an endeavor into varsity play and the Monterey Bay League.
“We are working together a lot more,” said returning junior center-midfielder Ariana Jaso, who has her sights set on at least 10 goals this season. “We have a lot better skills and a much better goalie. I think we have a really good defense this year.”
The Cougars played a challenging schedule in 2009, taking on ‘A’ league JV programs week in and week out, allowing for some first-hand teaching and learning.
“We played a lot of tough teams least season and they saw how soccer should be and how other teams work,” Pimentel said as she watched her players grind through a passing drill last week.
“I think we are going to have an overall improvement,” Pimentel added. “We will be able to connect passes more and score more. There is just a big difference.”
Aside from the skill-set improvements, Pimentel is conveying an understanding to her players of the potential pitfalls of going up against teams with a senior class and relaying the message of the necessity for mental toughness.
“If we lose five-zero, we can’t let that affect the next game,” Pimentel said. “Each game is different. Last year, we had a problem of thinking we were going to lose going in. Hopefully this year we will have more confidence.”
Watsonville is the MBL’s defending champion with Seaside coming in second a year ago.