Lady Bulldogs banking on competitive, physical players
     2015-03-19      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - Members of the 2015 Gering High School girls’ soccer team are, front row from left, Noemi Amaro, Megan Copsey, McKenna Copsey, Courtney Murillo, Jennifer Kessler, Ashlie Hennings, and Morgan Wallace. Middle row from left, Brisa Corona, Sydney Havengar, Sydney Heimbouch, Hadley Kirk, Katie Martindale, AnnMarie Sebastiani, Zoe Van Dyke, Abby Kiesel, and Nellie Kirk. Back row from left, Cameron Bucy, Cora Leypoldt, Shelley Reza, Jasmyn Boles, Katherine Martinez, Jaylee Staman, Kyla Kuxhausen, Marissa Ayala, Alex Montez, Brittney Spreier, Carlie Sides, and Becky Boyd. 
During last week’s practice, Gering head girls’ soccer coach Lisa Freeburg liked what she saw—good kicking and passing skills, a focus on fundamentals, and a natural sense of team work. Freeburg will be counting on the skills and character of her players this season as they work to best the 2014 season record of 8-10 and become a threat in District B-8. The Lady Bulldogs are also looking beyond last year’s District Runner-up finish.

Freeburg said she and her 30-member team’s goals are to be competitive and physical this year.

“We’re excited to get out and play,” Freeburg said, now entering her sixth year with the girls’ soccer program. “Our focus is on ourselves and improving every day we step on the practice field and game field.”

The girls are not only focusing on individual skills, but working to help younger players fine-tune their skills and hold each other accountable for key skills, plays and attitudes. Plenty of field chatter during last week’s practice indicates that Gering strives to operate as a close-knit and cohesive unit focused on executing plays with precision.

“Every game is a key game,” Freeburg said. “Each game gives us the opportunity to improve and grow as a team.”
Competitive and physical could also be the main characteristics of this year’s squad. With leaders like junior Midfielder/Forward Noemi Amaro, who punched in nine goals in the 2014 season, junior Defender and Forward Abby Kiesel, who contributed six season goals last year, and the sharp mental play of senior Midfielder Hadley Kirk, and physical speed and power of junior Midfielder Katie Martindale, the Lady Bulldogs have a strong core of offense and execution. Junior Goalkeeper McKenna Copsey, who made 141 saves last season, is also continuing to hold her ground secure.

Freeburg said her top seniors and returning upperclassmen include seniors Ashlie Hennings, Jen Kessler and Courtney Murillo, and juniors Abby Kiesel, Noemi Amaro, Morgan Wallace, McKenna Copsey, Zoe Van Dyke, AnnMarie Sebastiani, Hadley Kirk, Katie Martindale, and Megan Copsey.

The Lady Bulldogs are also getting coaching assistance from several former GHS players including Pedro Sulu, Brooke Satur, Kelsea Prieels, and Ashley Heimbouch.

Gering opens their season this Thursday, March 19 with a home game against Sterling, Colo. The home match-up begins at 6 p.m. at Gering’s Memorial Stadium. The team will travel to North Platte on Saturday, March 21 to take on Holdrege at 2:30 p.m. at Kearney Catholic at 4:15 p.m. before hosting Torrington, Wyo. on their home turf March 31 at 6:30 p.m. Girls’ District play will begin the first week of May.

Schedule (Gering girls’ soccer games are played at Memorial Stadium at Gering Junior High School)
Thu. March 19 Sterling, Colo. at home 6 p.m.
Sat. March 21 Holdrege at North Platte 2:30 p.m.
Sat. March 21 Kearney Catholic at North Platte 4:15 p.m.
Tue. March 24 North Platte at home 5 p.m.
Tue. March 31 Torrington, Wyo. at home 6:30 p.m.
Mon. April 6 GI Northwest at North Platte 12:45 p.m.
Mon. April 6 Lexington at North Platte 4:15 p.m.
Tue. April 7 Cheyenne East at home 6 p.m.
April 10-11 GNAC Tourney at Landers Complex
Thu. April 16 Newcastle, Wyo. 4 p.m.
Mon. April 20 Scottsbluff at home 5 p.m.
Tue. April 21 Torrington, Wyo. at home 6 p.m.
Mon. April 27 Scottsbluff at home 6:30 p.m.
May 4-5, 7 Districts TBA
Wed. May 13 State at Creighton University TBA

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