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Valley Journals

Former Cottonwood girls soccer coach applauds effort of new head coach under tough circumstances

Nov 07, 2018 03:24PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Makayla Montoya cuts the ball back during region play. (City Journals)

By Brian Shaw |  brian.shaw@mycityjournals.com 

The Cottonwood High girls soccer team underwent some changes this season. Most notably, longtime head coach Dominic Militello stepped down in order to focus more on his full-time consultants job. 

In his place stepped Kailee Sandberg, Militello’s longtime assistant, which in his view was a natural ascendancy. While Sandberg endured a winless season in her first year at the helm of the Colts, Militello urged patience as she builds a young squad. 

“First year head coaching is tough,” said Militello. “I think Coach Kailee did a really good job keeping the team together and fighting all season.” 

Never was this more apparent than in the Colts second to last game—a region rematch against Jordan on Sept. 27. 

The Beetdiggers handed Cottonwood a 7-1 defeat back on Aug. 28—also the only game in region play in which the Colts scored a goal. 

But in the return region match on Sept. 27, the Colts were in the match throughout, putting all that Sandberg taught the girls throughout the season to good use. 

A nearly flawless first half led to Cottonwood trailing only 1-0 at the half. In the second half, Jordan pulled ahead with two more goals to secure a victory and hand the Colts a 3-0 loss. 

For the year, Cottonwood went 0-10 in region play and 0-13 overall. 

But the lessons that Sandberg and her lady Colts endured and learned in 2018 will serve them well not just now—but in the future, according to Militello. 

“At the end of the day any coach just hopes their kids will go out and compete,” added Militello. “They [the kids] should want to leave a legacy they can be proud of.”