St. Michael’s girls soccer without graduated Nique Enloe and Monse Camarena, but return enough talent to continue on the winning trail, and with a stellar freshman newcomer in Olivia Farrar
Lady Horsemen opened with win over visiting Capital and play Thursday at Belen under coach Gerzain Chavez
By Arnie Leshin, Sports
Having lost only three matches out of 20 last season and making its way deep into the state 4A tournament for the third straight year, this season’s St. Michael’s girls soccer team has the potential to ring up another successful campaign under second-year head coach Gerzain Chavez.
“But we can’t fall asleep and lose track of things as we did today,” Chavez said after the 4-1 win over Capital in the opener for both. It was the first minute of play and, just like that, Capital snuck in to score because we weren’t paying attention, were distracted.”
It was a quick celebration for the Jaguars, for shortly after, senior Tiana Baca evened the score with a goal, and junior midfielder Devon Romero found the net close to halftime and the Lady Horsemen had a 2-1 edge at intermission.
The Jaguars did not score again and the home side dominated both offensively and defensively, except Chavez thought his team should have made more goals.
“We were just all over the place on our shots,” Chavez said, “and the score didn’t reflect the game itself. Hopefully, down the line they will get tuned up and translate that into more productivity.”
The Lady Horsemen outshot Capital, 26-4, but as the coach said, they need a better return on the shooting investment.
It was the introduction of St. Michael’s freshman forward Olivia Farrar. She took the field as one of the better known young soccer players, and didn’t disappoint as she scored twice, one on an assist from Baca, the other on an assist from senior midfielder Astrid Giblin.
“Oh, yes, she’s good,” Chavez said in regard to Farrar. “She’s been playing for quite some time, has a strong kick, has speed, is extra quick, and is a fine edition for us. I just expect her to get even better with experience.”
For added speed, he points to junior middle fielder Claire Lee. “Lee has just gotten faster and faster,” he said, “and I expect her to do some scoring by just outrunning the defense.”
There are four quad-captains on the roster, all seniors. There’s Baca, the team’s second leading scorer last season, defender Kylee Marcus, returning goalkeeper Megan Burnham, and midfielder Maya Chavez, the coach’s youngest daughter following in the footsteps of her two older sisters.
Burnham had no trouble after the quick, early goal. She stopped the few shots she saw.
Senior Cate Burke returns as a central defender, sophomore Daisy Smith as a striker, junior Hannah Boyd as one of the team’s better forwards, senior Cristina Morrison as one of the top defenders, and junior Alice Pittard as the back-up goalie.
Chavez said he has several players on both the varsity and junior varsity rosters, one of which is senior fullback Kayli Nordby. “It’s best that these players play,” he said, “and that’s why Kayli starts out with the JV.”
The roster also includes 8th graders Claire Patten and Milena Keene, but the coach said they will probably spend more time with the jayvee. He added that the two have the potential to be real good as time allows them.
“We don’t have that much depth,” he said, “but we have scorers, defenders and good speed, and should do well.”
This is the first time in five years that the Lady Horsemen did not have All-State Nique Enloe on the sidelines. Last season knee surgery had her sidelined for the entire campaign, but in the four years before that she was a captain, a starter, the leading scorer and leading player. She’s now a freshman at Division III Dallas University, a branch of the University of Texas.
There’s also the loss of graduated Monse Camarena, who led the team in scoring and was among the top point makers in the state. She and Baca played well as a duo, now it might be Baca and Farrar.
Alonso Camarena, Monse’sMonse’a father, returns as assistant head coach, Bill Schneider as is again the junior varsity head coach assisted by Judd Keene, and Mary Anne Burke is the athletic trainer for the squad.
St. Michael’s takes to the road Thursday for a non district match with Belen, which is 0-3 after 10-0 losses at Aztec and at Albuquerque Sandia Prep, sandwiched around a 3-1 home setback against Bloomfield. Since last season, the Eagles have lost seven straight, and come off a 5-14-1 campaign.
On Friday and Saturday, the soccer girls of Santa Fe High head up to Taos for a tournament. Also on Friday will be Academy of Technology And the Classics at the Rehoboth tournament, and on Saturday there’s Los Alamos at Grants, Las Vegas Robertson at Moriarty, and Santa Fe Prep and ATC at the Rehoboth tournament.