The Maricopa girls’ varsity soccer team revealed strengths and weaknesses in a 4-4 tie against Skyline Friday, bringing their record this season to 2-2-1.
Though their record indicates the potential of a moderately successful squad, the true measure may rest with scoring. The Rams have on average netted nearly three goals per game this season, however at the same time they have also allowed an average of two goals per game, a fact head coach Pedro Olivares believes needs to be addressed.
“We have a strong attacking group this year,” Olivares Said. “But where we need some help is on the defense.”
Some of the strongest scorers this year are among the team’s eight seniors, many of whom have played together since they were freshman. Olivares knows their offensive unity will likely add to the squad’s success, but he also acknowledges that it takes defensive prowess to be victorious.
Olivares said senior sweepers Lauren Davis (captain) and Katie Siebert, along with keeper Briana Barba, show the potential necessary to counter strong offensive teams. The technical skills and strength of senior strikers Amanda Maciel and Rachael Perez will keep the Rams competitive against stronger defenses.
The forward-looking Olivares acknowledges a lot boots will be left empty when these and other strong seniors graduate, thus this season he is putting an emphasis on training and recruiting younger players to help fill the impending void.
“I’m working with some of the freshman and sophomores in key positions so they can be ready for next year,” Olivares said. “So, we’re planning for this year but we are also planning for next [year].”
Though this is his first season coaching at Maricopa High School, Olivares is no stranger to the pitch. He has a storied past playing and coaching for club teams in Mexico, El Paso, Texas, and elsewhere in Arizona. Four years ago he and his family settled in Maricopa, and it wasn’t long before he knew the laid-back and family oriented atmosphere was exactly where he wanted his family to be.
“We love Maricopa,” Olivares said. “We really want to make a difference in the community.”
Now, wanting to advance the program, Olivares hopes to see his community rally around these athletes and support them not only by cheering for them at games but by participating in club fundraising efforts as well.
For information about fundraising, or if you’d like to contribute to the Lady Rams Varsity Soccer Club contact coach Olivares at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rams will defend the home turf against Poston Butte tonight at 6 p.m. and then turn around to face Kellis in Glendale Wednesday night at the same time.