Girls Soccer Dominates the Field in 2017 Season

Kaitlyn Cashdollar, Senior Reporter

This year started off strong with a 4-0-1 scoring for the Manitou Springs High School Girls Soccer Team. Only Jefferson Academy, the top-ranking team in the state, has scored against Manitou so far. In their first game, the Varsity team dominated Woodland Park High School with a score of 8-0. During their second game they beat Bayfield High School 10-0. They also faced Pagosa Springs High School, beating them 6-0. Ava Spangler (10), who plays midfield, said, “We had 24 goals scored for us and zero against us. It was really important to get those shut-outs. Our last game we lost 2-0, but that was [against] the best team in the state.” This is Spangler’s second year on the Varsity team. Since their game against Jefferson Academy, they also beat Buena Vista High School 8-0. At the beginning of the season, the Mustangs were ranked 10th in the 3A League. They are currently ranked 7th with 26 points.

The team has high expectations for their results this season. The captains this year are Jen Cole (12), Meghann Root (12) and Alyssa Holiday (11). Root said, “The goal of the team is to win every game, as every team tries to do, but it is possible for [us] to do. I believe that if we put in the work and don’t verbally attack each other, we can go to state.”

Other members of the team have personal goals to go along with their team goals. Monique Heiniger (12) is the Varsity team goalie, and has been the Player of the Game for two games already. “Personally, for this season, I intend to meet the shut-out record of 14 goals, or 14 games that I was not scored on in,” Heiniger said. “More than that, I think, just use my leadership in the field for good things and stay positive, even in games that are stressful and are high-tension, and just work with that. I want to try my best to keep cool and keep my composure in moments like that, just so our team reflects the vibe that I put out.”

The Varsity team hasn’t undergone much change the past year. Spangler said, “The only starting senior we lost last year was Georgia Finley, who played midfield. I took her position in attacking mid, and Roxy [Witham, 10] came up from JV to play outside back, which is where I used to play.” This is a good thing for the team, according to Root. “The Varsity team hadn’t changed much since last year so the family dynamic from that team is very present this year, but it’s a lot stronger and includes the non-Varsity players as well,” she said.

Including their time on the field, the team has bonded on trips to far-away competitions. Spangler said, “I think [the team] is better then ever. We had that Bayfield/Pagosa trip, which was just so important for bonding together on the bus and in the hotel. We’ve come together even more than last year. It’s such a positive environment, there’s so much trust on the field, and everyone likes everyone. There’s never an issue of ‘I don’t like this person.'”

The connection in the MSHS soccer team is better then ever. This bond will hopefully take them far on the field. “I think I’m adjusting to having a team that’s really close and tight-knit,” Heiniger said. “I haven’t had that experience in the same way in any of my other years in high school. Our team is doing really well, I think, because of that energy and because of that trust that I haven’t seen in years past.”