WICHITA, Kan.—The girls’ soccer team from Northwest is hoping to improve on last season where the Grizzlies finished with a 6-2 GWAL record. The team has several returning starters, some fresh new young talent and good chemistry.
Combine that with the experienced coaching of Coach Bobby Bribiesca, who coached the Northwest boys soccer team to a 6A state championship and was named National Coach of the Year, and those factors add up to a hopeful season for the Lady Grizzlies.
Bribiesca said Northwest is better than the third place his team took last year.
“Kapaun, Bishop Carroll and Heights are the teams to watch out for. I believe Northwest can compete well against all three,” Bribiesca said.
Second-Team All-City forward and last season’s leading scorer sophomore Renee Gillespie is returning for the Grizzlies this season. Senior captains Christy Tran, Tiffany Mercado and Sydney Andrews are all returning as well.
All four bring talent and experience to the team.
Gillespie had 14 goals and two assists last season, Tran had nine goals and five assists and Mercado scored seven goals.
“Andrews can defend as well as attack from her back position,” said Bribiesca.
Senior Christi Tran said the girls have high expectations for the season.
“We are hoping to compete with Kapaun and Bishop Carroll this season. We connect both on and off the field, and we have really good team chemistry,” Tran said.
Junior Stephanie Jett agrees that the team has great team chemistry.
“Our chemistry holds us together on the field when things get rough. We are hoping to compete for the City League title, and have the opportunity to make it to state,” Jett said.
Jett said the girls are working hard to redeem themselves from losing in regionals to Derby last season. The Lady Grizzlies are looking to improve their finish in the City League this season.
“We take each other’s advice and learn from it, and there are many new freshmen who have been a great addition to the team. We know how to make each other shine both individually and as a team, and I think that will help us beat teams that we have lost to in the past,” Jett said.
Senior Sydney Andrews said she also is expecting a good season.
“We’ve got a strong offense and a lot of potential this season, so hopefully we can take full advantage of that,” Andrews said.
Andrews said the Grizzlies have many talented freshmen that are learning and gaining experience.
“We hope to win the Titan Classic, place well in the City League and make it to state. It’s a progressive process of goals, but I think we have a good chance of achieving those goals,” Andrews said.
Bribiesca is looking forward to getting the season started.
“Our goal keeper Paige Welborn is good enough to keep us in the game, and our defense can be aggressive,” Bribiesca said.
Bribiesca said Northwest soccer will be one of the top three teams in the City League.
“We have good speed up front, and our skills will create havoc for our opponents. The South tournament will tell us a lot about our team. We are learning new positions and are adjusting to playing with new teammates,” Bribiesca said.
The girls begin their season at the Titan Classic which begins on Monday, Mar. 26 at South High.