Douglas High girls soccer
Douglas High junior Ava Coons turns to cross the ball into the box, during a Tiger practice last week.
Photo by Carter Eckl.
After missing out on the state tournament last year, Douglas High girls’ soccer has stacked up its chips in anticipation of making another run at a state title this season.
Fourth year head coach, Andrew Robles, has stacked the deck early for Douglas with a preseason tournament, featuring numerous top foes in several classes across the entire state of Nevada.
“Battle for Nevada – I purposely put our schedule against the Vegas teams,” said Robles. “That will give us a really good indicator of where we are at and what we need to build for.”
(Douglas High senior Kylee Lash finishes dribbling through a drill during practice last week with the Tiger girls’ soccer team. Lash was a first-team all-region selection as a junior last season for Douglas / Carter Eckl)
Douglas will have four seniors on the varsity roster this year, all of which return with varsity experience from year’s prior.
Three of those seniors are also coming off all-region honors from last season such as first team selection Kylee Lash on defense.
Along with Lash, all-region honorable mentions Camden Miller and Kylie Martin return at midfield and goalkeeper, respectively.
Seara MacPherson saw plenty of minutes throughout last season and posted a goal and an assist over nine games played up front.
Though the team only has four seniors, plenty of experience returns from last year as well in some of the other classes that makeup the Tigers’ roster.
On the attack for Douglas will be last year’s leading goal scorer, Aleeah Weaver, who enters her junior season after posting nine goals and six assists before earning a second team all-region selection in Class 5A last fall as a sophomore.
Ava Coons, who had five goals and three assists last year, returns up front as well.
Coons did miss some time last season due to injury, but Robles thinks the growth he’s seen from his varsity returners should overmatch any missed time.
“I’m excited that we have set a program standard. … It’s reflecting on our results throughout our teams, which in turn is making my job as head coach easier,” said Robles. “People know they have to be working hard and if we’re putting in the work, we know the results will come.”
Joining Miller in the midfield this year will by Sky Rasmussen and Zoe Baligad.
On the back line, Johanna Ruelas and Lash will anchor the outside of the defense while Robles anticipates his center backs finding that growth role that so many Tigers saw last season.
Last season, the Tigers dropped some players back to help on defense, but he’s hoping that some younger, less experienced players can step up into a varsity role.
Some of the new faces that Douglas soccer fans can expect to see are Kaylee Bradford, Bliss Moody, Whitney Walters and Reese Ballingham.
“Whitney got some minutes toward the end of last season, but she has grown so much. We are looking for her to be one of the starters at center back,” said Robles. “Who knows, maybe someone else steps up.”
The Class 5A North has shifted a bit due to graduation all around the region.
Robles isn’t too concerned with how the region may shape out. His focus is internal and making sure the Tigers don’t have injuries that pile up.
“I think just staying healthy is going to be a big part,” said Robles.
Camden Miller, Sr.; Kylee Lash, Sr.; Kylie Martin, Sr.; Seara MacPherson, Sr.; Zoe Baligad, Jr.; Aleeah Weaver, Jr.; Skylyn Rasmussen, Jr.; Johanna Ruelas, Jr.; Ava Coons, Jr.; Grace McGuffin, Jr.; Rylie Lovec, Jr.; Bliss Moody, So.; Whitney Walters, So.; Kylie Dorsey, So.; Kaylee Bradford, So.; Ellie Boggs, So.; Cali Myers, So.; Reese Ballingham, So.