Glasgow High’s girls soccer team kicked off the 2019 season as an experience-depleted squad after the graduation of 13 seniors. But that fact didn’t dampen the spirits of the few returning varsity players. In fact, the vacancies provided spots for several players who, during the course of the season, have upped their game in order to compete at the varsity level.
Three players, one called up from the junior varsity team and two who returned after taking last year off, have provided the bulk of the offensive firepower.
Junior Cinthia Agramonte-Duran leads the team in scoring with six goals. Senior Kenssy Teruel-Claros has found the back of the net five times, and junior tri-captain Flor Pedroza-Luna has provided some offensive power as well. Teruel-Claros sat out last year due to family commitments, while Pedroza-Luna missed all of the 2018 season after breaking her collarbone on the second day of practice.
“We graduated a large senior class from last season and had no returning goal scorers from last year,” fourth-year head coach Brian Grant said. “So the returning players were really important.”
On the other end of the pitch, the Dragons entered the season with a huge question mark at the goalie position following the graduation of last year’s keeper, Camelia Youayou. That is until freshman Maria Gonzalez showed up.
“Maria has been great,” Grant said. “We came into the season not sure who the starting keeper was going to be. We were going with a couple of our better players volunteering in the preseason. Then Maria came out and said she was a goalie. She has performed well for us. And we hope that she continues to improve.”
A strong core of returning defenders supports Gonzalez. Senior tri-captains Paola Sanchez and Guadalupe Ayala, along with senior Tzuri Gonzalez, have been instrumental in the Dragons’ success on the defensive side of the field.
“[Their experience] is key because they are familiar with our style of defending,” Grant explained. “Tzuri has been a bonus because she did not play last season due to family commitments.”
One newcomer to the defense is senior Talia Herrera-Lopez, who transferred from A.I. DuPont High School.
“I would have to say that Talia has been a blessing,” Grant said. “She has performed well and stepped right into the left outside defensive back position. I believe that she has been a key to our success defensively this season.”
Glasgow has had an up-and-down season. The Dragons have pitched shutouts in three of their four wins, but have been held scoreless in five of the losses. They also haven’t been able to string together two consecutive victories.
“I think the biggest reason for that is mainly due to the way our schedule is set up,” Grant said. “We have had a few tougher opponents earlier in the season and did not play well in those games. But we also have shown the resilience to not dwell on each game too long. You have to have a short memory, regardless if you win or lose. Gotta be ready for the next game.”
Glasgow’s record stood at 4-7 heading into the May 8 game against Dickinson. Grant is optimistic this year’s squad can reach the six wins tallied by the 2017 squad.
“I definitely think that another season with at least six wins is possible,” he said. “The team set a goal this season of winning at least six games. And I think that is a feasible goal with [four] to play.”
If the team does reach its goal, Grant said it will be in large part due to the leadership of the five seniors.
“I just think the group as a whole has just stepped up this year to help lead this team to [as far as] we could possibly go,” he proudly said.
If for some reason the Dragons fall short of six wins, Grant won’t be any less proud of this group.
“As always, we have great kids in our girls soccer program both academically and behavior-wise,” he said. “I would have to say that it is clear that these girls genuinely like and care about each other. And I believe that is far more important than anything else. I also believe that this, in turn, leads to the success on the field because they play for each other.”