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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Lady Conqs work towards returning to regional tournament

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  • The Dodge City Lady Conquistadors went through a hard time last season, finishing tied for eighth in the final Jayhawk and region standings, but not being able to make the playoffs due to a tiebreaker. It was the first time the Lady Conqs missed the playoffs under the coaching reign of Tim Romanello.So, just like he said when he talked about the men's soccer team, Romanello has spent the offseason rebuilding the program with only five players returning from last year's 8-12 squad; and just like the men, will be playing for the first time at the new soccer/football practice field on campus."The biggest problem was that we started slow or ended slow," said Dodge City soccer head coach Tim Romanello. "We lost five games by a goal, which could have given us a winning record and a chance to go far into the regional."It's just a matter of this year: the focus is going from whistle to whistle. We are a lot stronger than we were last year. It might not be a blowaway year, but we will have players who will compete a lot harder. We're not going to be losing 5-0, 6-0 and 7-0; but we will be battling against the stronger teams in the league if we play to our potential."Returning for the 2013 campaign are two forwards (Vanessa Perez and Crystal Medina) and three defenders (Samantha Cypert, Samantha Ingram and Elvira Reyes). Cypert (who scored four goals) and Ingram led the team in minutes played, while Reyes moves back to her natural center back position after playing as a midfielder last season. Medina scored three goals and had two assists in last year's campaign."They will understand the accountability that I want and will help show the newcomers," Romanello said. "These players aren't going to give you drama off the field and are going to be better leaders on the field. We'll be solid in the back and there shouldn't be a learning curve with three defenders coming back."The Lady Conqs have a transfer on this year's squad in forward Ashley Bush. Bush played at Trevecca Nazarene, where she scored two goals and had three assists in 2012.Romanello has been excited about this year's group of freshmen, who could make an instant impact on the squad this season. Among the newcomers who signed during the offseason include two from Utah (midfielder Dalila Rodriguez and defender Danielle Kremin) and Oklahoma midfielder Jessica Crites. Another defender will be Canadian Abby Rogers, who Romanello expects to play above her age as the youngest on the team. The team also has two members of last year's Dodge City High squad (midfielders Areli Torres and Erica Romas)."That was by design," Romanello said of signing as many midfielders as possible. "All of our midfielders can play anywhere you need. We are far more athletic and far more skill-wise, but still not there in competing against the top teams on an every day basis. It's going to take a little while, but we want to get the program back to the respectibility it had from a few seasons ago."Goalkeeping will be another issue as two freshmen have come in to try to take the position: Chenoa Banks of Tennessee and Karly Day of Alaska. "They will probably split time in goal," Romanello said. "These girls were more athletic, quicker and stronger with the ball. We needed kids who were taller in goal and were able to cover from post to post. It's still a situation of the decision is up in the air and who plays what."
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