Gering girls’ soccer to focus on team building
     2014-03-20      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - The Gering High School girls’ soccer team members this year are front row from left, Dawn Jacox, Leslie Martinez, Courtney Murillo, Ashley Hennings, CeCeilia Gutierrez, Shelton Blanco, Kelsea Prieels, Laettner Blanco, Shania Ortegon, Marissa Meister, Kim Snelling; second row, Brianna Fitts, Megan Copsey, Zoe Van Dyke, Abby Kiesel, Noemi Amaro, Morgan Smith, Morgan Wallace, Bianca Quintana, Sara Schwartzkopf, Jaycee Rice, Kathy Martinez, Leah Martin, Jennifer Kessler; third row, Sydney Heimbouch, Hadley Kirk, Jaylee Staman, McKenna Copsey, Katie Martindale, Annemarie Sebastiani, Jazmine Cruz, Shelly Reza, Becky Boyd, Marissa Anaya and Angelina Jurado. 
Gering girls’ soccer coach Lisa Freeburg is looking forward to the 2014 season with optimism and a focus on fundamentals. The Lady Bulldogs will have a few shoes to fill after coming off of last year’s 13-5 season, which was part of a two-year, 26 wins streak. Nine seniors from the 2013 squad, which made it as far as the Class B, District 6 Tournament, are gone, so this year may mean some rebuilding.

But Freeburg said she is excited about the team she has with some experienced seniors. Her first focus will be on mastering the fundamentals of the game and team work. After that, she wants her team to just enjoy the process.

“This year we are putting more focus on enjoying the progress,” Freeburg said last week. “Having fun at practice, enjoying being part of a team and our time spent together. I’m just excited.”

Freeburg’s crew will have plenty of members to enjoy, with 34 girls out. She said the early part of the season will be spent working on putting everything together and people into the right slots.

Top returning starters include seniors Kelsea Prieels, Shelton Blanco, Laettner Blanco and CeCe Gutierrez.

“Kelsea is our center and mid-fielder. She does a great job of talking and distributing the ball,” Freeburg said. “Shelton is on defense. She just has great leadership and speed on the field. We have Laettner in the wing position where she does a great job talking and does an excellent job crossing. CeCe is also on defense. She gives great persistent effort.”

Freeburg expects to get a lot of play out of sophomores Morgan Smith and Noemi Aramo as well. Freeburg lauded Smith’s communication and excellent ball handling skills in the defense and mid-field positions and Aramo, a transfer from Torrington, Wyo. for her skills and knowledge of the game.

Freeburg is also looking forward to utilizing the expertise of assistant coach Pedro Sulu, who came to the Gering program last year. Sulu was head of the Scottsbluff boys’ soccer program from 2000 to 2007.

“He was actually a head coach while I was still playing in high school, so it’s huge to have a former head coach with our program,” Freeburg said.

Freeburg is also assisted in coaching by Laura Van Housen and Brooke Satur.



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