The Lady Bulldogs soccer season was cut short last year after losing a heartbreaking shootout in Hamilton with a trip to the state championship on the line.
It was a painful way to end a season, but Whitefish coach Wendy Farrens says her squad will learn from that experience and hopefully emerge as an even better team in 2012. In fact, there are a lot of reasons to believe another deep playoff run is in the cards for these Lady Bulldogs.
More than 20 girls have been practicing with the team for the past week, including seven returning from last year and four seniors.
“I’m excited about the turnout,” Farrens said. “There’s lots of potential on this team. There is lots of new energy and we have some very skilled players.”
Seniors leading the team are Megan Danczyk, Janessa Courtney, Perry Sobba and Haley Craven.
Danczyk and junior Caroline Carbo were named as team captains.
“I’m excited to have Caroline and Megan leading the charge for us,” Farrens said. “Megan has been on varsity for quite awhile, so we’re looking for big things out of her. Caroline will be holding down the midfield for us. They’re both consistent and strong players.”
A big plus comes from returning goalkeeper Piper Greenwood. The junior has a year of varsity experience under her belt, which will go a long way with her confidence in front of the net, Farrens said.
Whitefish’s offense will focus on possession and playing out of the backfield, while defensively the Dogs should be solid.
A big improvement comes from team depth. Last year the team battled a short roster and injuries.
“We have a good deep bench,” Farrens said. “It’s nice to have choices.”
Team goals are to compete with the best in the state and win lots of games, but to also have fun and grow as players, Farrens said.
“Hopefully, that also leads us to wins,” she said.
Whitefish kicks off the season Aug. 25 at Stevensville where the Lady Dogs will look to pick up a win right off the bat.
The first home game is Sept. 1 when they host Hamilton.
“I think we’ll be looking for a little bit of revenge in that one,” Farrens said.
Wildkat soccer aims for playoffs again
Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:57 am
The Columbia Falls girls soccer team has a pretty simple goal this season — make it back to the state playoffs.
Even though the program lost 10 seniors to graduation, six of them starters, the team still has a solid core of young players, including forward Danielle Delventhal, who scored 30 goals last year, the most in Class A history.
The team has a two more solid forwards in Lexi Corbett, who transferred here from Missoula Big Sky, and sophomore Haley Purdy.
In the backfield, the Wildkats will be anchored by keeper Kira Kamrud and defensemen Meagan Seliger, Gabby Keller and Kinzie Howell.
The team also has nine freshmen looking to make their mark. All told, 20 girls made the squad, said coach Greg Trenerry, now in his 16th year with the program.
“I think we’ll have a good team,” he predicted last week. “We’ll surprise a few people.”
The first four games of the season will be a good test. Girls soccer opens Aug. 31 on the road against Livingston followed by Belgrade the next day.
The next week, two more eastern schools, Billings Central and Laurel, square off against the Kats at home. The east, particularly Belgrade and Billings Central, have two of the top programs in the state. The test will be good for the girls, Trenerry noted.
“Our first four games are real tough,” he said.
The Wildkats won the conference title last year. They went 10-1-1 but lost in the second round of the state playoffs to Billings Central, 5-0.
In conference play, Whitefish should be the team to beat again, Trenerry said. The Lady Bulldogs always have a quality program, he said.
Trenerry is assisted by his daughter, Nicolette Bales, who is also a kindergarten teacher at Ruder Elementary.