The 2013 soccer season was a good one for the Carson High School girls.
The Senators advanced to the regional playoffs again, and won their first-ever true state playoff game, a 2-1 overtime win over Coronado in the semifinals. The next day, Carson would be blanked by Arbor View, 3-0, in the championship game. A disappointing end, but a good season nonetheless. It leaves Carson as a team to beat in 2014.
With 10 players who saw extensive varsity action returning, including top scorers Chantel Torres, Mayra Olivares and Karla Reyes, big things are expected of coach Greg Lehman’s club.
“Expectations are high,” said Lehman, whose squad hosts Montgomery of Santa Rosa on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. “I’m sure a lot of the girls are thinking about state, but they have to realize that it starts today. It’s one game at a time. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. They have to understand that it takes a lot of hard work to get to the end (state).
“The varsity group has reported in great shape. We are ahead of last year. Our season is not long enough (to do well) if we don’t come into the season ready. You have to start with a base fitness level. Obviously we’re not in game shape yet.”
That will come. Lehman has 17 players on his current roster, and he believes all 17 could be starters. That is a luxury many Northern Nevada schools don’t have. Lehman should actually have more returning players, but midfielder-forward Valerie Sue Meyer has elected to play club soccer in Sacramento, Lorena Gomez moved to Washington and goalie Sam Bishop injured her back and has been declared out for the season.
Lehman said the team will definitely build on its state tournament experience.
“Oh yeah,” Lehman said. “As a matter of fact, the girls and I discussed the state tournament. We asked why we lost the last game and what we need to improve on moving forward.”
One of the biggest challenges will be replacing the scoring of Josilyn Daggs, who is now at the University of Idaho. She was the only CHS player to score double-digit goals a year ago. Unofficially, Torres had eight, Oliveras seven and Reyes three last season.
“This year, we have a lot of players who can score goals,” Lehman said. “You are going to see goals come from a lot of different places.”
Lehman said he has a couple of different options up front, and much of that depends on what happens in goal. Currently, Kim and Karla Reyes are between the posts.
“Kim had a good tryout,” Lehman said. “We know we can play Karla in other spots. We’ll see where Kim is at. I could see us splitting them in goal.”
If Karla Reyes is in the field, she could be teamed up with Oliveras.
“Both looked good in tryouts,” Lehman said.
Torres has the ability to move up top, and you could also see Lauren Hudak and freshman Isabella Wakeliny there, too.
Wakeliny recorded the best time in the Senators’ 3-mile fitness run. Lehman said he was impressed with her shot and touch.
Melissa Glanzmann is likely to play in the middle midfield, and Lehman was impressed with Torres and Lindsey Hettrick at the outside wing spots. Hudak, Sierra Scroggins, Olivares, Makaela Bigley, Galilea Cid, Alondra Martinez and Nahim Flores are also in the mix.
And, if Lehman isn’t satisfied there, he can move up his daughter, Lindy, to a midfield slot, as well as Bailey Zuber and Cid.
“We have a lot of players who we can move to other places,” Lehman said. “We have a lot of versatility with this group.”
Defense has always been the Senators’ forte, and it should be good again this year.
“We focus on an organized defense,” Lehman said. “All 11 players have a responsibility on defense. If you’re organized on defense good offense will come out of it.
“It (starting defenders) is up in the air. We have about six kids battling for spots.”
Lindy Lehman started every game in the back row last year. Bailey Zubr, who missed last season with a knee injury, is back for her last year. Teresa Boehmer, a three-sport athlete, also is in the mix. Scroggins, Glanzmann, Bigley, Kim Reyes and Cid also could see action there.