NEW KCKCC WOMEN'S SOCCER COACH HIGH ON YOUNG SQUAD
Kansas City Kansas Community College women's soccer will have a new look in 2015 – a new coach and 12 new players.
First year coach Jeremy Winzer has only four sophomore returnees as the Lady Blue Devils open the season at home against Blue River Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 5:30 p.m.
"We're new to each other and I'm new to this league so we're going in the first time together," says Winzer. "Mistakes will come but I think they will help us grow and get better. I think this team will rattle the cage in the conference and qualify for the playoffs. We have a great fitness level with speed on the flanks."
Winzer has been especially pleased by the quick bonding of his 16 players and coaching staff. "It's more like a family both on and off the field," says Winzer. "There's a lot of energy which will help offset our lack of experience and allows me to be able to count on every player whether starter or non-starter."
Winzer is counting heavily on the Blue Devils' four returnees for leadership. They are midfielders Emily Soetaert and Madison Simmons, both of Tonganoxie; defender Chase Holle of Topeka West; and Cynthia Conchas of Liberty Prep, who will play both forward and midfield.
All will be in the starting lineup in front of Maria Hansen, a 6-foot goalkeeper from Copenhagen, Denmark, who Winzer expects to present a big presence in goal for opposing teams. She will be backed by Jessica Ibarra of Piper
With Conchas at midfield, freshman Loida Carranza of DeQueen, Ark., will be the lone forward while freshmen Cheyann Lake of Piper and Cristy Avelar of Huntsville, Tex., will fill the other two starting midfield positions with Soetaert, Simmons and Conchas. They will be backed by Leticia Ramos of F.L. Schlagle.
A trio of freshmen standouts, Kaitlyn Trzok of Piper; Veronica Samaniego of SM North; and Allie Ledbetter of Bonner Springs, will join Holle in the starting lineup of defenders. The team's deepest area of strength, Winzer can also call on a trio of graduates of Washington High, Veronica Navarro, Jade Davila and Karen Ruiz-Gonzalez.
Four of KCKCC's first six contests are a home starting against Blue River Tuesday and followed by Maple Woods Aug. 3, Allen County Aug. 10 and Garden City Aug. 15, a stretch Wizmer hopes will have the Blue Devils ready for a big finish. "October will be tough with the best three teams in the conference – Johnson County, Hutchinson and Butler – to be played back-to-back-to-back although Johnson County and Hutch will be at home."
Winzer is being assisted by an all-star staff. Melanie Pickert was a fourth team All-American and multiple All-Big Ten and All-Academic selection at the University of Iowa while goalkeeper coach Catherine Buchanan was a starter in goal at Louisiana Tech where she was a three-time All-Academic pick. "Having the support staff I have is huge," says Winzer. "Both have great knowledge of the game and game management and will have a big impact on our program."