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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Strong offseason has coaches excited for soccer season

 

September 5, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Sophomore Anna Enyeart takes control of the ball during Tuesday's season opening contest against Wapato.

The girls on the Goldendale High School soccer team have been playing with an extra bounce in their steps through the first few weeks of practice, more so than previous years.

DeMott, who entered her fifth year as the leader of the Timberwolves when the team went through its first day of practice on Aug. 20, said it's obvious how much farther along the Wolves are so far this year than in earlier seasons.

"Usually we come out on the first week ... and they're so sore and they are exhausted and they can't really get through all of when we asked that first week," DeMott said. "But this year, they were sore and they worked really hard but we never had that moment where anybody physically couldn't do anything."

That's been a constant across all of Goldendale's fall athletics after a strong summer in which dozens of kids took part in the weekly Wolfpack Tuesdays, high intensity training segments each week intended to push the kids and increase their overall athleticism.

That, along with the girls success during last spring's Gorge 5v5 Soccer League in The Dalles has DeMott and the rest of the coaching staff excited to get the season underway.

"They came in in better physical condition as a whole and I think they came in better mentally because they had success in the spring league and I think that's going to carry over into this fall," DeMott said.

Many of the girls on the high school team competed in the 5v5 league in The Dalles last April and May, winning some games while also dropping a couple of one-goal decisions. Their success and competitiveness throughout the Gorge League season, paired with the experienced and strong returning players, should give the Wolves a leg-up on the competition they haven't had in the past.

"I think having return girls that come back is very important because they're able to step up into leadership roles and help the new freshmen," assistant coach Stephen McCandless said.

Goldendale returns a good part of its team from last season, including seniors Lene Riggers and Torrie Speikerman, juniors Faith Hastings, Jenneeva Lawrence, Jaiden Royce, and Ashlynn Muzechenko along with sophomore Tiana Watson. They also added a good group of freshmen who have been putting in a lot of work early.

"Some of those freshmen girls are working just as hard as the seniors and juniors," McCandless said. "It's kind of nice because the experienced girls are putting the pressure on and the freshmen are stepping up. We have a lot of intensity on our team."

"They are great hard-working kids so it's really fun to always have them back," DeMott added about her returning players.

The Timberwolves were in action for their season opener on Tuesday against Wapato, and held a 2-1 lead in the first half. However, Wapato tied the game at two to enter halftime, and pulled ahead with four second-half goals for the 6-2 win.

Goldendale is back in action Thursday, traveling to South Central Athletic Conference rival La Salle for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Lightning. They are back on the road Saturday for a noon game in Toppenish.

 

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