Photo by Andrew Ottoson
The 2018 girls soccer Bulldogs are (back row, from left): Talia Brown, Jolie Tosten, Jordan Click, Clarissa Stevens, Alleyna Edmondson, Kim Kaschmitter, Baeli Kinsley, Taylor Bransford, Jana Mehler, Cecilia Rojas, Johanne Korsvoll and coach John Cuffe; front row, Kylara Darwish, Chloe Dame, Illyana Barela, Miyana Melendez, Naomi Connolley, Yadira Rojas, Mia Rioux, Eryn Newsom, Bella Dame and Abby Asker.
As of Thursday, August 30, 2018
Five days before their first scheduled game — which ended up having to be rescheduled — girls soccer coach John Cuffe said he had as many as 16 to roster for the season.
At the time, it seemed like a huge gain from last fall, when the team occasionally had to field all 11 of its available players for the full 90 minutes.
“It’s really exciting,” Cuffe remarked during the minutes before practice Aug. 13.
By the time they started warming up, there were 21 girls on the soccer field west of the football field.
“It’s definitely a different team,” Cuffe said. “We’re going to compete this year. We lost two players [Brenda Gomez and Tessa Godfrey] to graduation but gained a ton more. They’re a good group and they really get along together. It’s looking really good.”
Cuffe said the team’s biggest need is to limit the opposition’s scoring and showed early signs of success at that.
With Talia Brown in at keeper and Naomi Connolley splitting time between forward and sweeper, GHS showed major improvement in its opener against McCall. The game wound up being played Aug. 21, and GHS played the Vandals within 7-3, compared to a 13-1 walkover at the outset of last fall.
Cuffe had praised Brown’s willingness to take on the responsibility few others would choose for themselves.
“She’s a freshman and she’s totally enthusiastic about it,” he said. “She’s good at basketball and has good hands. We finally have someone who wants to be a keeper. It was the toughest job last year, and give ’em their due, we had a couple who kept at it. But this year we have someone who wants to do it.”
Connolley — Grangeville’s leading scorer in 2017 — appeared to score against McCall despite playing part of her time behind the GHS defense. But it was waived off.
Midfielder Mia Rioux scored two “fabulous goals,” Cuffe said, and McCall scored an own-goal.
On the whole, the girls’ opener marked vast improvement, Cuffe said.
Having played St. Maries Aug. 25, Grangeville’s next games are Aug. 29 against Kellogg and Aug. 30 against Priest River, according to the school’s scheduling website ghsathletics.com.