Scottsbluff girls’ soccer team returns almost intact
     2016-04-01      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Members of the 2016 Scottsbluff girls’ soccer team are, from left in front: Vanessa Gurrola, Destiny DeLosSantos, Devaney Halley, Maryha Martinez, Aleksis Lopez, Dani Pinet and Ahsley Bair. Middle row: Abby Tygart, Chloe Reifschneider, Claire Holsinger, Hannah Holloway, Karen Orona, Morgan Smith, Alisha Guitierrez, Breana Villagrana, Grace Maser and Olivia Michael. Back row: Sadie Hamm, Livvy Albright, Merissa Espinoza, Keiyarah Twombley, Tessah Fulk, Aly Comacho, Erin Willats, Kaylee Bentley, Reegan Green, Sarah Lewis, Taylor Noe, Kelli Wentz, Hannah Leach and Felicity Sanchez. 
Last year’s 7-9 record got the Scottsbluff Lady Bearcat soccer team as far as the semi-final match at the state tournament before falling to Lexington. But with a lot more depth, this year’s team could cause other district teams to take notice.

“Since I’ve been coaching, this is the most depth we’ve had and the number of quality soccer players,” said Coach Chad Larson. “We only lost one starter to graduation last year, so everyone else is back and picking up where they left off from last year.”

Now in his 10th year of coaching, Larson has about 37 players to guide with help from his assistant, Bethany Conde.

“We had success last year because of the athleticism of the players and their knowledge of the game,” Larson said. “Many of them have played for a long time. More importantly, they play together, which really helps the team chemistry on the field.”

He added it’s important to win as many district games as possible, as well as non-conference matches.

“One of our goals is to perform better at the GNAC Tournament than we have in the past,” he said. “That’s a good tournament that features a number of larger Class A schools. It’s a plus when you can perform well against a team from a bigger school.”

Some of the seniors he pointed out as leaders include Kelli Wentz. Olivia Michael and Aly Comacho are both strong at the goalkeeper position and have been impressive in practice.

“Some of our sophomores are also leading by example,” Larson said. Erin Willats was voted a team captain and Kaylee Bentley is also a strong player.”

Continual, overall improvement in all areas is a driving factor for the team. “We want to finish out games a little better than we did last year,” Larson said. “We had a lot of freshmen last year, but now they have some experience. We want to play a more complete game week in and week out.”

Scottsbluff Girls Soccer schedule

April 2 at N. Platte vs. Lexington and Grand Island NW 12:45 p.m.
and 4:15 p.m.

April 5 at Torrington 5 p.m.

April 8-9 GNAC at Columbus

April 11 at Cheyenne East 5 p.m.

April 16 at Sterling, Colo. 11 a.m.

April 18 vs. Gering 5 p.m.

April 21 vs. Torrington

April 26 vs. Newcastle, Wyo. 5:30 p.m.

April 29 vs. North Platte 5 p.m.

May 2-3, 5 Districts TBA

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