In many youth sports, playing the best means traveling to California. The Pahrump 05 Trojans girls soccer team did just that and found they could hold their own.
Coach Danny Coleman took his team to the National Cup XVII West Regional on June 16-19 and came back with a win, a loss and a tie, good for second place in Group A and third place overall in the seven-team field.
The result was a positive for the Trojans, especially after losing their opening game 4-0 to AVSC Storm, the eventual champion. After that, despite playing with a limited roster in unfamiliar humidity, the Pahrump team defeated a club from Sacramento 2-1 and drew 2-2 with a San Jose club at the Davis Legacy Soccer Complex in Davis, California.
“My girls played really well,” Coleman said. “We didn’t know we were going to this tournament until the end of April, and some people had other things planned. The first game I had one sub, and the other games I had no subs. And the girls got a taste of playing in the humidity.”
Although the team is young, they have already tasted success. “We’ve been a team now for a little over two years,” Coleman said. “We started out with (the American Youth Soccer Organization) as an all-star team, and we went though and won the biggest tournament the AYSO had, the Western States Tournament in Bullhead City.”
That was in November 2016. Since then, the team often has played teams stocked with players a year older, seeking out the best competition it could find.
Coleman said the core of his team are the three captains: forward Adryanna Avena, middle defender Paris Coleman and goalkeeper Avery Moore. As the coach put it, they are the game-changers.
“A lot of teams had better passing than we did, but that was her tournament to shine,” Danny Coleman said of Moore.
“Shot after shot after shot, she was an amazing keeper. I’ve had her for almost four years, starting the year we did our AYSO all-star team. She’s fearless, and that’s a huge part of being a keeper.
“Adryanna is one of the fastest people in our league. She’s left-footed, so that helps us out a lot. Most of her shots are from outside the 18-yard box, and she usually hits them over the keeper. She’s just hard to defend.”
Paris Coleman is “probably the strongest person on the team. She’s the most aggressive, she’s the one that gets yelled at the most by other teams’ parents. I taught her how to play aggressive the right way. I think she’s only got called on one foul in the box. I use her for free kicks, and she’s scored multiple times.”
Danny Coleman had high praise for another of his players.
“Emily Lewis has been everywhere,” he said. “When I first had her on my soccer team she was one of my top-scoring forwards. When we went to a club team, I had forwards that I was going to use, so I moved her to midfield. She went from trying to score to trying to help other people score.
“Just recently, I moved her back to one of my defenders because of how fast she is, how aggressive she is. She’s probably the best runner on the team.”
As the team moves from 13U to 14U, the coach sees more success ahead when they begin practice for the new season, which begins the first weekend of September, partly because of the competition they have faced.
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“We’re half ‘05 and half ‘06, so playing up an age group we had girls playing two years older than what they are,” Danny Coleman said. “We were playing the whole year an age group up. There were only two tournaments where we played our own age group.
“They held their own, and now we’re going to stick with our own age group this next season and get back to dominating again.”
Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter:@pvtimes