Girls soccer team looks to build on last season’s success
Coming off one of the better seasons in recent history, the Quincy High School girls soccer team has goals this season to not only repeat last year’s success, but reach higher.
A young team, the Jacks only return three seniors from last year’s squad and others including sophomore forward Emily Wurl, sophomore defender Shannon Workinger, junior defender Rebekah Castro and sophomore midfielder Karla Nunez. That team finished with a 7-1-8 record and earned a berth in the district tournament, where the team lost to rival Ephrata in the first round of the tournament by a score of 6-0.
Reaching the tournament itself was a victory for the Jacks. Prior to last season, they hadn’t earned a district playoff berth in eight consecutive seasons.
Head coach Francisco Tafoya hopes the girls use last year as motivation to go further, adding, “a major part is just keeping them focused.” He wants to challenge them more this year in practice, further develop fundamentals and dive deeper into the tactical side of the game.
In their first few practices, Tafoya has the team focused on those fundamentals, getting touches on the ball and defending as a unit.
Senior midfielder Piper Horning echoed Tafoya’s desire to play as a team, adding that the returning players need to help connect the new girls.
Although Tafoya said the goal for the season is to reach the district tournament once more, he’s not selling this team short.
“If we were to get that first win in the first round of districts, we’re giving ourselves an opportunity to win one more,” said Tafoya.
Last season, the Jacks earned a 4-3 victory over East Valley Yakima on the road near the middle of the season. According to Tafoya, that win was paramount to their district playoff berth. Victories over league opponents will play a huge role in their postseason hopes, said Tafoya, adding that East Valley and Othello will be some of the Jacks’ toughest games.
“Those will either give us the edge or take us out of contention for districts,” said Tafoya.
With higher turnout this year compared to previous seasons, Tafoya said it’s likely they will have a junior varsity squad this season. Last year, due to injuries and low numbers, only the varsity team existed. Tafoya wants to have that second squad for development and the future.
“Having that JV team will help build for years to come,” said Tafoya. “We’ll have girls getting more play time and experience.”
By Miles King, firstname.lastname@example.org