Faith’s Lutheran girls’ soccer coach Bob Chinn didn’t mince his words when talking about his team.
“This group has the potential to be the best we’ve ever had,” said Chinn.
When you consider that the squad won the school’s first state championship in 2019 with a 23-0-1 season, that’s kudos.
“We look good both physically and chemically,” said Chinn. “We have a good group of executives out there. They enjoy the program and have been on the program for a few years now and understand how we want to play. “
The Crusaders will be anchored in the backend of senior goalkeeper Jordan Brown, the 2019 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year.
She only allowed three goals in 2019, also proof of how strong Faith Lutheran’s defense against her was.
“Jordan is a fantastic piece of the pie, but we have a lot of other seniors that I expect to have very good seasons,” said Chinn.
During the shortened spring season when the Crusaders lost 6-0-1, they introduced another player, whom Chinn refers to as a “game changer” with midfielder Andrea Leyva.
“She’s a fantastic player,” said Chinn. “She is very even on and off the field. She really enjoys the game, enjoys her teammates, and doesn’t have a big ego. She has great skills, but she can read the field so well and has such a high soccer IQ. “
The Crusaders draw in the spring came against Bishop Gorman, whose coach Doug Borgel is not quite as optimistic on his team.
It will be a young Gaels squad, despite a seniors-laden defense that should offer some protection to two new goalkeepers.
Borgel’s concern is whether Gorman can score. He said this is the first time he doesn’t have a player who can score 25-30 goals. This is a problem for someone whose motto is “We’d rather win 10-9 than 1-0”.
UNLV sign Michelle Madrid are the Gaels captain and should be their best player overall, Borgel said.
Gorman has won the 2017 and 2018 state championships and is always a factor. The same applies to Coronado, the national runner-up in 2019, Palo Verde, Green Valley and Centennial, who drew against Faith Lutheran in the regular 2019 season and reached the state semi-finals.
Centennial has a strong centerpiece in Senior Skye Kennedy, who finished second on the team with 15 goals in 2019.
“She was in her sophomore year when I last saw her and she’s faster, her skills are better,” said Centennial coach Tony Clifford. “We’ll have a wildcard or two too.”
Since most of the teams skipped the 2020-21 school year and a new grade 5A, there are many unknowns. But the coaches think it will make for intense competition.
“That’s the funny thing about it,” said Chinn. “It will make the players get better and know they can’t take a night off. (2019) you had so many different teams, there were too many games that weren’t fun. Good football is played every evening in 5A. “
Contact Jason Orts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.