Yosemite girls soccer team prepares for season

It’s the start of a new soccer season at Yosemite High School.

The girls program has seen a large influx of freshman this season.

“I’m excited to see so many girls interested and ready to play soccer,” varsity Coach Vanessa Jasper said. “This group of freshman has impressed me as a whole. They work hard, play hard, and bring some talent to our program. It’s great, because they will be with us for four years.”

Jasper feels both the girl’s varsity and JV teams have a lot of potential and should be competitive in North Sequoia League play this season.

The varsity team lost just four girls off last year’s team to graduation, and Jasper is pleased with this year’s leadership with five seniors.

“We have a good roster with five seniors, eight juniors, two sophomores, and three freshman,” Jasper said. “My seniors were my first group of high schoolers I ever coached, and it’s bittersweet having them as seniors this year. They work hard and always give their best.”

Jasper said her two hardest working athletes are Kelsi Stieler and Sierrah Slocum.

“Sierrah has overcome some chronic pain to keep playing - that in itself is mental toughness,” Jasper said. “I can’t wait to see what she brings this year. Our three freshman, Peyton Garner, Sarah Meeks, and Kara Eckstein all have amazing ball control, knowledge, and understanding of the game already. They will bring a lot to the team in the coming years.”

“Although our varsity team is young, there is a lot of talent on the field,” Jasper said. “It will be fun to see these players develop and come together during our preseason. Our goal is make the play-offs this season.”

The team finished the league season last year with a 3-5-2 record.

The team has has three preseason home games - Dec. 9 (Clovis East), Dec. 11 (McLane ), and Dec. 15 (Reedley High). The JV team plays at 4 p.m., and the varsity games are at 5:30 p.m. on Raupp Field at Badger Stadium. There is no admission fee for the games.

Larry Archer is the assistant varsity coach and Shelby Collings is coaching the JV team.

League play starts Jan. 14 with Yosemite hosting Chowchilla.

- Yosemite High correspondent