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South Salt Lake Journal

Cottonwood High girls soccer gain experience as season progresses

Sep 08, 2022 02:03PM ● By Brian Shaw

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

One year after the Cottonwood Colts girls soccer team finished the season with an 0-16 record, there is some optimism at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains.

The Colts return seven senior starters from that 2022 team, including captain Gaby Mendoza.

The other reason for higher spirits on this Cottonwood girls team is due in part to a good result against a tough Tooele team when the Colts opened their region slate at home Aug. 17.

Though the final score was a loss on the scoreboard for the Colts, they were very much in this game well into the second half—before visiting Tooele knocked home two late goals to send Cottonwood to a 3-0 loss.

For the Colts, however, this game marked a crucial point in the season. In all five games Cottonwood has shown a marked improvement in how it is competing against some pretty talented, stacked opposition: Bonneville (1-9 loss), West Jordan (0-6 loss), Park City (0-5 loss) and Cedar Valley (0-8 loss).

For Cottonwood, though, the season stands at 0-5 overall, it’s important to keep in mind that the Colts only allowed fewer than three goals in two of the 16 games they played in last season. In the second season under Chris Wood, the Cottonwood girls are already showing they’re more experienced than they were last year.

Junior goalkeeper Kya Budge has been getting more consistent with every game in which she’s played, and is averaging five saves per game for the Colts.

Meanwhile, senior Mendoza is doing a better job holding down the midfield as the season has progressed and had a season-high five shots against Tooele in that 3-0 loss.

Her co-captain, senior forward Kylie Nichols is starting to heat up as well for Cottonwood and has appeared in four games thus far, nearly connecting on two goals in that Tooele game.

Region 7 action will continue through the rest of August and into September for the Colts girls, and we’ll have recaps and reactions of these games in the next South Salt Lake Journal.

The 2022-23 Cottonwood Colts girls soccer team is: Annie Smith, Eva Jones, Brooke Ibanez, Melanie Hernandez, Mary Neilson, Kylie Nichols, Ciel Budge, Kya Budge, Hailey Crowell, Lulu Vernon, Rio Barrowes, Mili Frew, Alivia Hutton, Talissa Imbico, KK Rees, Gaby Mendoza, Lauren Riddle, Nicole Nelson, Sophi Berets and Halle Chino.