Cottonwood girls soccer team ready to take next step towards success
Aug 31, 2017 09:55AM
● By Jana Klopsch
The Cottonwood girls soccer team won two of their first four games to start the season. (Trisha Gold/courtesy)
Last year, the Cottonwood Colts girls soccer team won just three games. This year, the Colts girls have already won two and tied one in their first four games.
So much for last year.
This season, Colts head coach Dominic Militello has come into the 2017 campaign with a mission: Be consistent. And, continue to create the culture that he started building last year.
“It really comes down to the players and their mindset, and this year we seem to have a varsity group that wants to do something special with what they have,” said Militello. “And then, we just want to get to work with our young talent.”
With impressive preseason wins over Riverton and Kearns safely tucked into their socks, the Cottonwood girls have taken the proverbial kicks in the butt they got from Militello in the offseason to heart.
With 27 total girls, and even with three freshmen starting on this varsity team—this after six players graduated—Militello said that the Colts are translating that work into results.
They’ve put the work in during what’s been an oppressively hot summer, during which the Colts girls participated in two-a-day practices, a week before the season even began.
“This year I invited the girls over to Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy,” a hill that Militello added by comparison is three times as high as the hill at Murray Park.
It was there that Militello’s assistant coach conducted a morning fitness session on what Militello described was “championship hill”—replete with that grueling hill climb—then had a technical and tactical session that night back at Cottonwood, and he and his staff did this routine for five straight days.
The extensive preparation then led to a tough season opening 5-0 loss at perennial power Skyline—respectable by the coach’s estimation because the Colts lost by an even worse margin last year to the Eagles.
Two days later, the Colts played at Kearns, winning 10-0 and turning those season opening lumps into a dominant shutout on the road. Then the Colts continued their winning streak with a 6-3 victory over 6A power Riverton on Aug. 15.
At Highland on Aug. 18, the Colts made it three big results in a row with a 5-5 draw. In the game, the Colts had four different goal scorers. And up through the final two minutes, the Colts led the game, according to Militello.
On the season, Cottonwood now sits with a very respectable 2-1-1 record with several preseason games remaining before going into region play.
“Murray’s going to be a good, quality team to get game experience and toughness to end our preseason,” said Militello. “And then going into 5A and this new region, we’ll play three of the top teams in the classification twice—Alta, Brighton and Timpview—and of course, we always have the mindset that we want to contend for a region title. But, we’re realistic of where we’re really at.”