By RUSSELL JONES
The girls program at West Rutland has been dominating Division IV for months. After running through playoffs and capturing a state title in hoops last winter, they took to the diamond and brought home another state trophy in softball in the spring.
After the short summer break, a good number of girls who were on those two teams will head out on the pitch to try to capture a state crown in soccer this season.
“I hope that winning carries on,” head coach Deanna Rodolfy said. “If they want it bad enough it’s there for the taking.”
Westside had a 7-6-1 record last season and they are returning 7 seniors from that team.
“We’ve got a good core of returners to build around,” the third-year coach said. “We’ve also got a bunch of good young players we’re developing.”
Those seniors are experienced in the front and should be a handful for opposing defenses.
“We’re solid offensively,” Rodolfy said. “We’ve got a lot to work with up top.”
The backfield has some new talent lined up and ready to play in front of an experienced keeper.
“We’ve got a new sweeper; Elizabeth Bailey will be there and she has a strong boot,” she said. “We’ve got Serena Coombs in the net and she’s been a starter since the 8th grade. She’s been solid every year for us.”
Their offense will revolve around their passing game and rely on the give and go. If they can get past Proctor this year, which Rodolfy calls a “fun rivalry”, they should have a shot at a title.
They will face their first big challenge early, taking on the two teams who were in the state finals last season.
“We’ve got Proctor and Arlington right out of the gate,” Rodolfy told The Reporter. “We’ll see where we stand right away.”
Westside got the win in the first of those tough matchups with a 1-0 win over Arlington off a direct kick 40 yards from the goal by Jeneé McGee. The Horde followed that up with a 10-0 win over Poultney and a 2-0 victory against Sharon Academy. They will face Proctor during Homecoming on Sept. 14.