Entering the 2014 season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls soccer team is not short on potential.
Now, it’s just a matter of putting it all together.
“As a group, we have to get over the hump that we’ve been fighting the last five years,” said third-year coach Nathan Ross. “We have to start winning games by one instead of losing games by one.”
To do that, Ross will look to a talented group of forwards led by sophomore Gabby Wolf, who scored a team-high six goals last season.
“She’s coming off a really strong first year, and she has gained a lot of confidence,” said Ross. “She’s going to be a fun girl to watch.”
Also figuring to contribute offensively for the Panthers will be senior midfielders Aubrey Lopez and Kenna Tarr.
Both experienced players, Lopez and Tarr are hoping to make the most out of this, their senior season.
“For this year, the goal would be to make it to playoffs,” said Tarr. “I know that we’re capable of it, and I think that we’re putting in the work during the preseason to make it happen.”
Protecting the back line for the Panthers will be sophomore defender Nichole Kibel, who is one of seven Dolores High School players on this year’s team.
Also playing in the back will be junior Naomi Pennecoose and Emma Youngquist.
Spending the majority of time in the Panthers net will be sophomore goalie Elizabeth Loschert, who, according to Ross, made huge strides since last season.
“(Loschert) had a really good offseason, and she’s come into her own,” said Ross. “She’s playing extraordinary.”
Playing in the always-difficult Southwest League, the Panthers will kick off their regular season with a road matchup against Grand Junction High School on March 14.
The Panthers will then play a road matchup against Grand Junction Central on March 15 before returning home for their home opener against Durango on March 22.
“Our goal is to work as a team and fight until the end,” said Lopez, discussing her team’s overarching goal for the year.