Spearfish girls’ soccer returns veteran team

Spearfish goalie Tya Lucas, in black, returns for her senior season for the Lady Spartans soccer team. Pioneer file photo

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SPEARFISH — Spearfish finished the 2018 high school soccer season with three wins, six losses, and five ties regular season. 

The Lady Spartans lost to Yankton 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

Katrina Huft, entering her fourth season as the Lady Spartans head soccer coach, said she is looking forward to seeing what this team can do with a year of experience under their belt.

‘We had a really young team last season. We had a lot of ties (five), so we were definitely sticking with other teams, but we couldn’t quite finish,” said Huft. “We only lost one senior on our defensive line, Madiera Lister, so I’m excited to take this same group of girls, who now have the experience, and have stuck with a lot of the teams in the state, and now take it to that next step and get more wins under our belts.”

The team numbers are fewer this year, but Huft said there isn’t one thing that is responsible for the decline.

“Our numbers are down a little bit. I don’t think there is a specific reason, just some girls didn’t come out. There’s a lot of fall sports for girls, so we are always fighting for girls. That core goup is sill the same. Though we are small in numbers, they are very mighty in heart, so I’m excited for the group of girls we do have,” Huft said.

Fall practices began Aug. 5, and Huft said things have gone well so far.

“We’ve had am awesome first few days of practice. The girls attitude and energy has been phenomonal,” said Huft. “They are ready to be here, they are ready to work, and that makes a big difference.”

Huft said some of the girls have lingering injures from the off season.

“Right now we have some girls who have had some injuries before this season that we are still working through and rehabbing. Other than that, so far we are healthy,” Huft said.

New leaders have emerged from this year’s team. 

“We have a group of seniors this year, Taya Lucas and Lyndey Dean. They are girls who have been playing varsity since they were eighth grade and freshmen. Then we’ve got Tiffany Valentine and Olivia William. That whole group has just been very vocal in these first few practices, and just have taken on that leadership role, so I’m just excited to see them continue to grow.

Huft said the team also has a lot of juniors and sophomores who have “been here and done.”

“Everybody has just been united this first week and a half, so it’s fun to see that it’s not divided by grades, but it’s united by Lady Spartan soccer,” Huft aded. 

Spearfish opens its 2019 high school soccer season.

“We are going to go to Huron on Friday and then play Mitchell on Saturday, and I’m expecting to win,” said Huft. “What I want to see is teamwork, and doing the fundamentals right. I think in those first few games it’s all about setting the tone for this season, so the girls’ have been working really hard on just the fundamentals. I told them if we do that right, everything else is going to fall into place.

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