Freshman Soccer Players Make Impact


Aubrey Hall

Olivia McKenna (9) shoots during the second half of the game, very narrowly missing the goal. McKenna has been playing soccer since she was in elementary school.

Sita Ahlen, Sports and Activities Editor

Manitou Springs Varsity Soccer team had an influx of freshman team members from the middle school this year. These seven players make up nearly half of the team and replaced last years graduating seniors, both teams having 18 players.

In the 2014- 2015 season, the team had a state ranking of 809 and a national rank of 1328. With a month left in this season, the team has a state ranking of 87, moving up 722  places, and a national ranking of 1017, a difference of 311 places. In their state class, 3A, the girls team is ranked 10th out of 49, right where Coach, Ben Mack, hoped they would be.

At the very first practice of the season the entire team met to discuss goals. Of these goals, those of reaching state and winning leagues were most prevalent. Since the team has already won league they are moving forward to a place in state.

This talented group of freshmen have no doubt allowed the team to succeed this season. Of these varsity players, Mylea Harangozo (9), Olivia McKenna (9), Bridget Bodor (9) and Ava Spangler (9) have made a noticeable difference.

Over the course of the season Harangozo, Bodor and Spangler have started every single game.

Harangozo is a defender on the varsity team. So far in the season, she has been a starter in every game. Harangozo has also had 3 shutouts during the course of the season. She has been playing soccer since she was four years old. She played with Park and Rec, then moved along to Club where she played with people much older than her due to her abilities. My first time playing for Manitou was last year in 8th grade for my first year in the district,” she said. Harangozo spends the majority of her year playing club soccer, including an indoor season.

“I think my favorite memory so far in this season is winning st. Mary’s.” Says Harangozo. The game was a highlight for the majority of the team, and Harangozo was honored as player of the game. Harangozo grew up playing several sports including baseball and track, but moved toward soccer because of her sister’s involvement. “There’s not a single thing I don’t love about it,” Harangozo says.

Bodor has a mentionable record with hat tricks. In three games versus Woodland Park, Florence and James Irwin, Bodor scored three goals in each. This places her above the national average in all categories. “I love how fast the game is and how much of a team sport it is,” she said. Bodor, a forward, has been playing soccer for about eight years and has played with Rush Soccer for the past three years.

At the beginning of the season, Bodor issued her own goals. One was to improve her shooting, which she believes she has built upon. “I have gotten better but I still have a lot to improve on there,” says Bodor.

Spangler has been playing soccer for over a decade. Beginning her career when she was 5, she played club soccer with Rush, and immediately joined Manitou Middle School’s soccer team. She will continue to play soccer for the remainder of high school, hoping for a defender or midfield position. “The best memory from this year would definitely be the team sleepover. We all got together for dinner, then slept over at Georgia Findlay’s (12) house. We all bonded like a family rather than as a team,” she said.

Spangler started her career in soccer after her family became more and more involved. Her brother, a graduated senior, would play soccer with her when she was younger. Spangler believes that the game against CSCS on April 23 was the most challenging game of league season.

McKenna plays a left forward position on the varsity team. She has played 12 games, in which she has managed to compile 12 points and five goals. She has been playing soccer since first grade. She played with Park and Rec, Rush Club and through school as well. She is planning to try out for Pride Soccer Club. She plans to continue playing for the remainder of high school, and hopes to continue through college. Similar to Spangler, McKenna got involved in soccer through her sister. “I love how competitive and fun it is,” she said.

McKenna had many goals over the season. One was to get use her right foot more effectively, after hard work over the season she accomplished the goal and had many assists and even a goal using her right foot. “I love this team so much and I can’t wait for more memories to come in the future,” McKenna said.

“Sometimes after practice instead of shouting ‘team’ or ‘mustangs’  we’ll shout ‘family!’” says Ava Spangler