Young Herriman girls soccer team focused on building chemistry to start seasonAug 04, 2021 12:28PM ● By Justin Adams
Sophomore Naomi Thorsen winds up for a strike that would end up being the Mustangs' first goal of the season. (Justin Adams/The City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
The Herriman girls soccer team took to the pitch for their opening match of the season yesterday with a very different look than last year. Gone are the likes of Emma Carver, Sawyer Service and Katrina Estrada, three out of the whopping 14 seniors who led the Mustangs to a Region Three championship last year. With so many graduations, some would say that the team is in for a “rebuilding year.” But head coach Ryan Rumfallo isn’t so sure.
“I’m a little tentative to say rebuilding only because I have some good returning players… but I did take some really young good players. It’s definitely a different dynamic than last year,” he said.
Some of those returning players include Sadie Bivens, Millie Terrion, Peyton Smith and goalkeeper Makailey Ellingson.
Two of the younger players that Rumfallo is really excited about are a pair of sisters: Gracie and Naomi Thoreson, a freshman and sophomore, respectively. As a freshman last year, Naomi didn’t have too many opportunities to get onto the pitch. But Rumfallo said she has the talent to be a crucial part of the team’s attack. In fact, she scored the team’s first goal of the season in their opener against RSL Academy High School.
Overall, Rumfallo said he was encouraged by how his young team competed against RSL in what ended up being a 1-2 loss.
Multiple players collide mid-air while going for the ball in the first half of the Herriman-RSLA match. (Justin Adams/The City Journals)
“I’ve always personally believed that if you have a group of players that want to work hard and win, then we can work it out. I think I saw that today so that’s super encouraging,” he said.
Still, there’s plenty for the young team to work on. The main issue Rumfallo saw in the first game was connecting passes.
“We were passing the ball to the other team the whole game,” he said. “There were only a few times we connected more than two or three passes in a row.”
But Rumfallo thinks that better passing and ball possession will naturally follow as the team builds chemistry with one another.
“Some of these girls have never even played a game together,” he said.
The Mustangs will look to build that chemistry over the course of their preseason schedule before starting region play at the end of the month. The Mustangs’ home-opener will be against Taylorsville on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 3:30 p.m.