Most Viewed Stories
Poor start, promising outlook for Yuba women's soccer
They were flat-footed and tired, upset about the score and not exactly prepared for their match against Shasta College on Tuesday.
But don't let the 4-0 score be misleading; coach Imed Dossy likes his chances and feels that this year's Yuba College women's soccer team has more than enough talent to compete with the best the Bay Valley Conference has to offer.
All the 49ers need is some time out on the pitch.
"We only have five returners so it'll take a few games to settle in, but we'll get there," Dossy said. "Talent-wise, I feel we're better than last year."
While they may be loaded with talent, the one thing the 2011 49ers lack is strength in numbers. Only 13 players suited up for Tuesday's game against the Knights and many were forced to play positions different than they were accustomed to.
Add to that only five returners from last year's club and there may be some growing pains, especially early in the season.
"I've got to move them to different spots than what they're used to so it's uncomfortable, but it's the nature of the beast," said Dossy, who added that the newcomers are going to have to learn in a hurry. "The jump from high school to college is big, so the freshmen are kind of in shock right now."
It's a good thing for Dossy he has a few sophomores to teach the younger players the ropes with striker Morgan Graham (Sutter High) and sweeper Karina Carvajal (River Valley) back as the team's captains. Also returning is defender Guadalupe Herrejon (Lindhurst) and a pair of River Valley alums in center midfielder Bernice Aguilar and sweeper Chelsea Givens, the latter of whom played extremely well on the backline on Tuesday.
"I think we're going to do super good this year, all we need is a little bit of practice," Graham said. "None of us have played together before except for the returners so we just need to get it clicking.
"We have a lot of talent, we just need to put it together."
Graham will be joined up front by freshman striker Jessica Garcia (Colusa), while Miriam Compton (Gridley), Wendy Valencia (Marysville), Rocio Topete (Live Oak) and Alexandra Peiffer (Yuba City) will make up the midfield.
Alexandra Cook (Lindhurst), Alyssa Nava (Yuba City), Angelica Paez-Lizama (River Valley) will help out on the backline and Sutter grad Sarah Snyder will make the transition from midfield to goalkeeper this season.
In all, every player on the squad hails from the Mid-Valley — and that's just the way Dossy likes it.
"That's what it's all about at junior college — I try to recruit local," he said.
With all those local girls, the one thing the team isn't lacking is chemistry. They are a close-knit group off the field, now all they need is to bring it all together when on it.
"We're all individually talented, we just haven't played together," Givens said. "We just need to learn how each other plays to predict who needs to be where."
One area of concern will be conditioning, but that should improve as the season goes on, Dossy said.
"We need to get in shape and as soon as that happens things will get easier. When you're tired, you're not thinking straight and your body doesn't respond," he said. "The good news is we'll get in shape fast because we have a small roster."