Girls take tourney

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Life is good for the West Liberty varsity girls’ soccer team. The Comets took down Mt. Pleasant 10-0 on Saturday, May 13, to win the Championship during the WL Girls Soccer Tournament.

In fact, with both wins on Saturday the Comets have won 10 consecutive games dating back to mid April. Their overall record currently sits at 11 wins and 3 losses.

“After the first few losses of the season I had a straight talk with them, they were having a lot of doubts,” says Coach Machado. “They just got more confident with each other and they stopped doubting their decisions.”

That confidence has carried deep into the season. After a rough loss against Keokuk way back on April 11, the Comets have averaged more than 5 goals per game to win 10-in-a-row.

Two of those wins have been perfect shut outs, where the Comets ended the match early by scoring 10 goals on their opponents, thus instigating the mercy rule.

“Our midfield is opening up the field,” says the coach, “This has been opening up shot opportunities for the front line including Haddie Anderson and Lizzie Hoang.”

He attributes the Comets success to a team effort. Captain’s Haddie Anderson, Samantha Ramirez and Ana Molina, all seniors, have dedicated a lot of effort to helping the newcomers.

There are seven seniors on the team, five juniors, four sophomores and three freshman, so it is an older team that’s hitting its prime in 2017.

“I’m optimistic about this team heading into the next couple of games and post season,” says Coach Machado. “We’ve still got to perfect a few issues, I still think we can improve and get better.”

“Me and my coaches need to help them get back to some basics, including communication,” he added, “But I’m really optimistic about this whole season.”

During this last week the Comets beat Mediapolis 2-1 on Monday, May 8. On Thursday, May 11, they were back home where they took down Monticello 10-0.

On Saturday, 13, West Liberty routed Columbus Junction and Mount Pleasant during their yearly home tournament at the Memorial Football/Soccer Field.

They began the day by beating Columbus Junction 4 to 2. However, it wasn’t their best game according to Coach Machado.

“Out captains stepped up and told the team that even though they won there were a lot of mistakes that Columbus took advantage of,” says the Coach. “They kept bumping into each other instead of spreading out.”

In response, the team improved its positioning and communication on the field, correcting a lot of its mistakes. This resulted in a perfect 10-0 win over Mount Pleasant.

Overall, Haddie Anderson leads the team in goals with 31, while Sarah Seele has 21. Alejandra Torres has 6 goals, Lizzie Hoang 3 goals, Jenny Andres 4 goals and and Alyssa Snider 2 goals.

However, Coach Machado also gives props to the Comets defense, which can often be the unsung heroes on a great team. “The defense is solid right now, I have no issue with them,” he says.

Comet Anna Molina rotates between middle field and back field, helping control possession of the ball as the first line of defense. Behind her is Karla Madrigal and Katie Schneider along with goalie Yozelynda Rivera.

Up next the Comets make the long trip to Clinton on Friday, May 19. They finish out the regular season with a match at home against Mount Vernon on Tuesday, May 23.
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