The Cougars, in just their first season at the varsity level last year, found rejuvenation in the second half of their league season and closed the 2010-11 campaign with a 5-1-1 record over the final seven games. Pimentel is hoping that winning feeling has carried over and will catapult the Cougars to a quicker start this season.
“If we can come together as a team, I think we should do really well,” Pimentel said at a recent practice. “Now, knowing what to expect with our league and playing high school soccer, hopefully we can win a couple more of those games. We just have to have the right mindset.”
En route to their third-place showing (7-8-1 overall, 6-5-1 league) in the Monterey Bay League, the Cougars heavily relied on forward Cailin McCarry for much of the offensive production. Back for her sophomore season, the first-team all-leaguer will again be a major factor for the Cougars. This year, though, Pimentel said there is the prospect of a much stronger supporting cast that includes 11 returners, a pair of freshmen in Paulina Llamas and Jasmine Contreras, who are expected to make immediate impacts, and key transfers from Morgan Hill Chelsea Luciani and Alejandra Garcia.
“We have a lot more soccer players this year, girls who play club year round,” Pimentel said. “Our goal is to take first or second (in league and make it to CCS. We just need to learn to play together and get to know each other a little more.”
The players are meshing already.
On Monday – in the Cougars first game since a season-opening defeat to Gilroy High Nov. 28 – CHS (1-1) received plenty of offensive firepower in a 5-0 win at Anzar. McCarry, Llamas, Emma Morley, Jamie Lanz and Gina Rodriguez all tallied for the Cougars.
“Our hard work isThe Cougars will see the pitch twice more this week, paying off,” Pimentel said. “We passed very well and took a lot of shots.”