The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 2, 2009

Enid soccer teams open season

A little inexperience doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Enid soccer coach Craig Liddell, whose Pacers and Plainsmen travel to Woodward tonight for their season openers.

The girls varsity game will be at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 7:30. The girls JV game is at 3, followed by the boys at 4:15.

“We just need to go out there and get experience,’’ said Liddell.

The boys return five starters from last year’s 6-6 team — defenders Steven Cross and Matthew Collins, midfielder Fernando Delgadillo and Ali Rezai and forward Alberto Mata.

“We have quite a few individuals that are very talented,’’ Liddell said. “Our main focus in the preseason has been playing together as a team and working together as a unit.’’

The Plainsmen have done that so far, Liddell said.

“We have a lot of enthusiasm,’’ Liddell said. “We want to be able to keep the ball on the ground and move around quickly. If we can keep that up, we’ll be tough to defend against. It’s an exciting brand of soccer.’’

Sophomore Jose Hernandez will be in goal against Woodward with Nick Ciliberti on the injured list. Joey Armstrong is another goaltending candidate.

“It’s pretty exciting to be that deep in goal,’’ Liddell said.

The probable starters against Woodward are defenders Matthew Blakley, Collins, Kristian Rodriguez and Cross; midfielders Delgadillo, Rezai, Edgar Resendiz and Issac Kim and forwards Mata and Joel Mendoza.

“Our kids are young but I think we’re good enough to make it happen,’’ Liddell said. “The boys stepped up well in the scrimmages.’’

The girls, 5-7 last season, will be led by five seniors — Madison Pastor, Cassandra Tarin, Whitney Kyser, Amber Diener and Riley Buckley.

“They have done a good job keeping the younger girls in line,’’ Liddell said. “The girls have worked their tails off.’’

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