CEDAR CITY – It’s been five years since the Canyon View girls soccer team last qualified for the 3A state playoffs.
Even as a group of only five seniors return to the starting lineup for the Falcons as the 2014 season begins, head coach Mark Comstock said the team’s energy level has instilled a hopeful outlook for the season that began Tuesday with a 2-0 road win at North Sanpete.
“Every year, we work for opportunities to get ourselves back in the (playoff) mix,” Comstock said. “Our goal always is to get to the playoffs and do well in Region 9. We have great, tough competition there.”
The Falcons are a young group, and senior Tate Womack will be the key in goal. After three years learning the role under Jaycee Slack, Comstock said Womack has earned plenty of praise in her offseason work.
“When went to the Wasatch soccer camp, the coaches from Lehi and Wasatch pulled me aside and said, ‘That goalie is something special,'” Comstock said. “We’re very hopeful that she’ll be able to be that way this season.”
When asked about the starting job at practice last week, Womack didn’t hide her excitement.
“I’ve waited to play varsity for a long time, and it’s going to be interesting to be the starter as a senior,” Womack said. “We really came together at camp. We figured things out and our defense should be pretty strong.
“We lost quite a few good players last year, but we have a lot more talent that’s come up. We could do really well this year.”
Fellow senior defender Maddy Roundy agreed, especially with the knowledge that the last two 3A girls soccer state champs have come from Region 9 in Snow Canyon (2012) and Dixie (2013).
“The playoffs are a possibility,” she said. “Having Snow Canyon and Dixie in the region is a big motivator. … We’re doing really well putting everything together.”
Even with the challenge of the Region 9 season still ahead, senior Tierra Smith said team chemistry will be the biggest key to help the Falcons end their five-year playoff drought.
“We’ll need team bonding, being friends on and off the field,” Smith said.
The Falcons suffered their first loss of the season at Provo Wednesday, 4-1, and will face Tooele for their lone non-region home game Friday. CV then plays at Richfield on Aug. 22 before starting the Region 9 schedule at Snow Canyon on Aug. 26.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter, @Tomzsports.