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Huskies bring strong team chemistry into 2023

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | September 15, 2023 1:00 AM

OTHELLO – A healthy bond between players on the field is an important factor for sports teams, and that’s something that first-year Othello girls soccer Head Coach Victor Quiroz said the Huskies have this season.

“The thing that really stands out is the team chemistry,” Quiroz said. “We have a lot of seniors this year that have been laying together since they were younger, and it’s cool because I had these girls also when they were eighth graders.”

Quiroz, who brings years of experience coaching at McFarland Middle School and with the Othello High School boys soccer team, takes over a Huskie program that is coming off an 8-9 year, falling in the consolation semifinals of the Central Washington Athletic Conference tournament to Grandview in a penalty shootout. The Huskies lost four seniors off last year’s roster, but return in 2023 with a strong unit of upperclassmen.

“Luckily, the four seniors that graduated last year were really good role models to the girls that we have now,” Quiroz said. “I have seven seniors starting right now, and these seniors have been playing together since they’ve been young. That transition has been good, and I think the coaches before me did a really good job with the development of these girls.”

The veteran leadership not only guides younger players, but the team’s seniors have years of experience with playing with one another on the field.

“Girls recognize the game better, recognize where they’re supposed to be,” Quiroz said. “They trust each other, and that’s been evident with the last several teams we’ve had. They’re understanding the game and understanding each other.”

Like many fall sports teams, the Huskies used time over the summer to prepare for the upcoming 2023 season. Whether it was time spent in the weight room or out on the field, Quiroz said it was a move that gained popularity among the players as the summer progressed.

“When the season rolls around, you’re working on other things – the off-season is when you’re getting in shape, but the season you focus more on the tactical aspects of the game,” Quiroz said. “You still work on the conditioning and all that, but it’s not as much as you’re doing in the summer off-season program.”

Quiroz said the strength of the team so far this season has been their knowledge of formations and knowing where to be, which has helped the Huskies open the season with a 3-1 record.

“I think we’re really good at understanding our assignments and our positions, and understanding where our girls need to be or where their teammates are at and finding each other,” Quiroz said.

Othello began the season with a 3-0 record with wins over Connell (9-1), Quincy (2-1) and Shadle Park (3-1), but fell in their first CWAC game 2-1 on the road against Selah on Tuesday.

“I’m hoping to see that same team chemistry, that teamwork that we’ve been preaching all summer because we had a lot of these girls over the summer just preparing for the season,” Quiroz said. “I’m hoping to continue that into league play.”

Othello continues league play at home against Ephrata on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

“First-year coaches, we’re excited for the opportunity,” Quiroz said. “We’re excited to develop. Being at the middle school level and seeing the girls that come by, I’m strongly confident that the Othello girls soccer program is on the come up.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

Othello Girls Soccer Roster

No. 0 - Emi Pruneda - 11

No. 1 - Destinee Franco - 11

No. 3 - Aliyah Espinoza - 12

No. 3 - Launa Mollotte - 11

No. 4 - Grace Rocha - 11

No. 5 - Ciarra Michel - 11

No. 6 - Brooklyn Hillman - 9

No. 7 - Naraiah Guzman - 12

No. 8 - Amarie Guzman - 12

No. 9 - Bella Garza - 11

No. 10 - Stephanie Gonzalez - 12

No. 12 - Rylinn Jones - 11

No. 13 - Bresais Campos - 12

No. 14 - Alyiah Ruelas - 9

No. 15 - Cristina Trinidad - 12

No. 17 - Elia Velazquez - 12

No. 18 - Maria DeLeon - 10

Othello Girls Soccer Schedule

Sept. 2 - vs Connell - 9-1 win

Sept. 5 - @ Quincy - 2-1 win

Sept. 7 - vs Shadle Park - 3-1 win

Sept. 12 - @ Selah - 2-1 loss

Sept. 19 - vs Ephrata - 6 p.m.

Sept. 21 - @ East Valley (Yakima) - 6 p.m.

Sept. 23 - vs Prosser - 12 p.m.

Sept. 26 - @ Ellensburg - 4 p.m.

Sept. 28 - vs Grandview - 6 p.m.

Sept. 30 - vs Selah - 12 p.m.

Oct. 3 - @ Moses Lake - 7 p.m.

Oct. 7 - @ Ephrata - 12 p.m.

Oct. 10 - vs East Valley (Yakima) - 6 p.m.

Oct. 12 - @ Prosser - 6 p.m.

Oct. 17 - vs Ellensburg - 6 p.m.

Oct. 19 - @ Grandview - 6 p.m.

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FILE PHOTO

Othello junior Rylinn Jones looks for an open teammate against Grandview in the Central Washington Athletic Conference District Tournament last fall.

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FILE PHOTO

Othello senior Stephanie Gonzalez takes a corner kick against Grandview in the Central Washington Athletic Conference District Tournament last season.