Former Montezuma-Cortez soccer players Nichole Kibel and Gabby Wolf concluded their freshman soccer season at West Texas A&M earlier this month.
Kibel, a 2015 Dolores graduate, trained with the team but was redshirted during the season and didn’t appear in any matches.
“College ball is nothing like high school,” Kibek said. “They don’t have JV or anything like that. You pretty much just train with the team all season, and you’re out there competing every day to try and play.”
Although she didn’t see any game action, Kibel still enjoyed her first fall with the Lady Buffaloes.
“I had fun throughout it all,” she said. “I loved the team, the girls were so much fun to be around, and the coaches were great. It was just a great atmosphere to be in, and I got to play the game I love and have played since I was 4.”
Kibek, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, said that her goal during the offseason and spring scrimmages is to improve and work toward gaining playing time next fall.
Wolf, a 2016 M-CHS grad, did see action during her freshman season in Canyon, Texas.
She appeared in 16 games and started five as the Lady Buffs went 9-3 in Lone Star Conference play to win the regular season league title.
Wolf also noted the differences in high school and collegiate athletics, citing the competition level and the amount of work that goes into every day.
“We played some pretty tough teams,” she said. “Our first two games were against Metro and Mines, and we lost to them, but we played pretty well. And then the preseason, the intensity of two-a-days and just the work rate during practices (were different).”
Wolf, who hasn’t declared a college major, is leaning toward social work. She said that the highlight of her season was her goal against the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
“I would have to say it was that goal,” she said. “Because we were much better than UT-PB and we should have beat them by a lot. But I got that game winner, and that put us by.”
The Lady Buffs were coming off of a two-game losing streak entering their contest with UT Permian Basin. But Wolf’s first-half goal proved to be the difference, sending them on to a 1-0 victory and sparking an 8-game win streak. They later fell to Midwestern State in the conference tournament to end the 2016 season with an 11-6 record.