Nevada puts 2013 in past, expectations are high in 2014 season.
by Stone Harper
The Nevada soccer team has a lot to prove — not only to themselves and their fans, but to the Mountain West Conference in general, after a lackluster season last year which saw the team go 5–11–4 (3-6-1 MW). Although the team was able to qualify for the Mountain West Conference Tournament, they were eliminated in the first round by Utah State.
Though they are not expected to do well this season (they are projected to finish 9th by mountainwestconference.com) spirits are high in the Silver State. Wolf Pack head coach Melissa Price isn’t fazed by the low prediction.
“We have to earn the respect of a ranking and our previous year finishes haven’t earned us that yet, so we talk about it from that standpoint,” Price said. “But also, we also believe it’s not where you start it’s where you finish.”
The Wolf Pack knows that they need to make improvements in order to finish with a winning record, especially on defense, according to senior midfielder Chrisalyn Fonte.
“The team’s defense was a little weak last year,” Fonte said. “When we were organizing our counter attacks and transitions, our outside wings would get attacked a lot. And they scored a lot of goals. I think that was our biggest weakness. Coming in this year we really focused on our defensive shape and organization and fine-tuning a lot of and choreographing things.”
One positive for the Wolf Pack is all of the experience they bring back, including eight returning starters and nine upper-classmen, starting with the returning point leader — senior forward Bobby Reilly. Last year Reilly was in the top ten in the Mountain West Conference in goals with five.
Not only does the Wolf Pack return its leading goal scorer, it also returns its leading assist producer in Daisha Jones-Oglesby who was tied for eighth in the MWC with four.
Back as goal-keeper for the Pack is redshirt junior Kelsey Quintos, who set the Nevada single-season record for most minutes in goal (1854:49). Quintos has high expectations for this year.
“Our goal is just to have a winning season and if you want to put a number on it, we are looking for ten wins,” Quintos said.
Above: Senior forward Bobby Reilly is the Pack’s leading scorer, she was top ten in the Mountain West Conference with five goals.
Right: Kori Disarufino graduated last year, expected to take her place is Freshman Angel Meriwether
“We have to earn the respect of a ranking and our previous finishes haven’t earned us that. We believe it’s not where you start it’s where you finish.”
Not only does this team’s experience give them hope, but there is new blood on the team that should make Wolf Pack fans excited. Freshman forward Angel Meriwether comes to Reno with a winning background. Meriwether’s club team, the Del Mar Carmel Valley of California, have won back-to-back USA Youth Soccer national championships, and she thinks that could help
– Melissa Price
her on the collegiate level.
“I think my experience has really
prepared me for the collegiate level,” Meriwether said. “I think I am a really good team player, so I think I can bring that to this team and help my team capitalize on opportunities, and just always play for my team and not for myself.”
This weekend, Nevada will be traveling to Texas for the Texas Tournament to play against Stephen F. Austin and
Texas. Quintos is excited to hit the road “I’m excited for all of [this season’s games],” Quintos said. “But I think going down to Texas will be a really good
Expectation’s are high for this team
among themselves ,and if they are able to accomplish the goals they set out they could surprise a lot of people.
Stone Harper can be reached at euribe@ sagebrush.unr.edu.