EAST WENATCHEE — It is a new era for Eastmont girls soccer.
Former head coach Erin Redal is out and Vidal Hurtado, the head coach of the boys’ team, is in.
Aside from that, the team remains largely the same with the Wildcats bringing back a dozen girls, a lot of whom are upperclassmen and have state experience.
“So far it’s been going really well and I’m enjoying it,” Hurtado said Tuesday. “There are a lot of similarities between the boys and girls, which allows me to do a lot of the same things that I was doing with the boys in the spring. The girls have received me well and I’ve enjoyed every day working with them so far.”
“Since this is my first time coaching girls soccer, I don’t know who to compare them with as far as other teams but we have a lot of senior leadership and some girls coming up that are ready to go.”
Jayden Brown and Megan Chandler will continue to dominate touches up front while Rylee Fisher and Kieahna Carson man the middle and Maria Mendoza, Tess Sparks and Elly Little bring up the rear. Hurtado expects all of them to contribute.
“We try to balance those things because if we rely on one player than we are going to regret that later,” Hurtado said. “We have good players coming back with experience and there will be a few girls that earn some honors for us at the end of the season.”
The Wildcats are also fortunate to have an experienced keeper in junior Kora Fry, who has been on the varsity team since she was a freshman.
“Any time you have an experienced keeper, you know you’ll be alright defensively,” Hurtado said. “She has significant experience in goal… and she knows what she’s doing.”
Eastmont finished the 2018 regular season (8-7) but rattled off three straight wins in district playoffs to secure a bid to state. They are hoping for a repeat performance in the always-difficult Big 9 and kick off their season Saturday against Southridge at home. Opening kick is at 1 p.m.
The Wildcats have three non-league games to begin the season before opening league play at home against West Valley on Tuesday, September 17.
“The focus right now is to get better at working off each other and communicating,” Hurtado said. “That is what will take us over the edge and win games.”