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Girls Soccer Preview: Rail City squads looking to make playoff push this fall
by Nathan Shoup
Aug 30, 2013 | 2458 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs girls soccer players, like their counterparts around the region, were stuck practicing indoors for much of the past 10 days.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs girls soccer players, like their counterparts around the region, were stuck practicing indoors for much of the past 10 days.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks girls soccer coach Jerry Miller gives direction to his players during the Railroaders' indoor workout Wednesday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks girls soccer coach Jerry Miller gives direction to his players during the Railroaders' indoor workout Wednesday night.
slideshow
Fall does not only mean football in Nevada. Once the smoke lifts, the girls soccer season will also kick off.

Reed and Spanish Springs are looking to return to the playoffs while Sparks is hoping to shake a forfeited 2012 campaign.

SPANISH SPRINGS

Last season coach Mike Faker's group won the High Desert League title, finishing 11-4-3 (10-2-3) and it advanced to the second round of the regional playoffs before falling to Carson, 3-0.

"We do expect to win league again," Faker said in an email Wednesday.

The Cougars are bringing back plenty of talent to help make another playoff push. First-teamers Audrey Barham (striker) and Karen Corral (defender) lead the returning group while second-teamers Sam Ryckebosch (striker), Kirsten Lealtad (midfielder) and Baylie (Krustinger (goalie) provide depth. Kiley Diesner (striker) rounds out the returning all-league selections on the Cougars' 2013 roster. She was an Honorable Mention selection.

Faker said preseason camp has gone well for the Cougars but added that the region's smoke is "hurting" them.

Despite practicing in a small gym that prevents teams from doing all the drills they could on a field, Faker feels his team will be ready to go for the season opener. Whenever the smoke allows it to be.

"I feel like we will be in good enough shape for that opening game," Faker said. "We are deep, so we can use a lot of kids and we have been working out since the middle of July."

REED

The Raiders are coming off a 2012 season that saw them fall in the first round of the playoffs to Carson, 3-0, after finishing 8-6-3.

Coach Jason Saville believes the success of his 2013 squad will be "predicated on our team chemistry and work ethic."

Returning to the 2013 equation is first-team selection Kenady Whitehead, second-team selections Aubrie Ciesynski and Kendra Bujnovsky, and honorable mention selections Danielle Uptain and Lindsay Marsh.

"This group of kids has high expectations of their play and for their teammates," Saville said. "They are focused and driven with a desire to compete that we haven't seen since players like the Gomer sisters (who led Reed to three consecutive North State Titles between 2006-08)."

Saville confidently said Reed's preseason "has been the best ever." Smoke and all. He admitted the poor air quality has been an "obstacle" for his team "but everyone is dealing with it."

As for the offseason that has been given such high praise, "(the trainings) have been intense, focused and meaningful, so hopefully come next Tuesday (scheduled opener) we can execute," Saville said. "These girls just want to go out and compete right now. They are getting tired of beating each other up."

SPARKS

If you ask coach Jerry Miller, his Railroaders put together a solid campaign in 2012, earning a playoff berth. If you look at the record book, it will show you Sparks did not win a single game.

After earning a playoff berth, it was determined there were "administrative problems in the clearance of players," said Miller, causing the team to forfeit all wins and ties and stay home for the playoffs.

Miller admits the process was "heart wrenching" but believes his team is ready to make another playoff push, and actually play in them this year.

Miller said 43 girls tried out this fall which is the highest total in his six years at the helm. He credits seniors Nina Cardenas and Vicky Lineras for leading nearly half the girls to participate in voluntary summer workouts, which Miller believes is part of the reason for the high turnout.

This year, Miller also moved from teaching at Sparks Middle School to SHS, which he believes is another reason for the high turnout.

"I can keep on eye on them. I can ask girls why aren't you out for soccer? You played in middle school."

Arturo Hurtado, a club coach, joined the coaching staff and brought a couple girls with him, also contributing to the high turnout, one of them being freshman goalie Senifa Po'oi.

"(Senifa) is probably the best goalkeeper prospect I've seen in years," Miller said.

Sparks was realigned into the Ruby Mountain League this year meaning they play Elko, Truckee and South Lake Tahoe each, twice.

"Those teams are all usually playing for the state championship," Miller said.

The Railroaders were scheduled to play in the Hug High School Tournament this weekend which was cancelled Thursday because of the smoke. Miller is now trying to find a team to scrimmage before the season opener Sept. 10 at Dayton.

Despite a difficult finish to the 2012 season, a new league and a smokey start to the 2013 season, Miller is confident the talent is there to return (kind of) to the playoffs.

"We are capable of winning enough games to get into the playoffs and I think we have more talent and depth than we did last year."

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Fredone
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September 03, 2013
Here is another Sparks High team that needs a coaching change. Coach Miller has never had a winning season at Sparks. It was also his fault that the team was playing with ineligible players last year. He takes no responsibility for the poor performance of his teams yet he stays on some how. There need to be new athletic director at Sparks High so they can start competing at all sports. Coaching is the common denominator and needs to change.
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