Kern Valley wins first match of year

By Ray Conner
Sports Editor

The Lady Broncs varsity soccer team hosted Wonderful Prep Academy Lady Wolves on Nov. 27. They would take the match 4-0.

The Lady Wolves, while not able to mount an attack, held Kern Valley scoreless until the 30th minute of play when Abby Achorn intercepted an errant pass and sent it on to Rachel Driskell who drove in and delivered the first goal of the season.

The Lady Broncs defense lead by senior Abby Achorn and junior Hannah Ocampo with freshmen Brooke Watson and River Sartor was impenetrable throughout the game as the Lady Wolves were able to earn only two corner kicks and zero shots on goal. The midfield lead by center mid-seniors Abigale Goulding and Jordan Allen with Arika D’Amico and sophomore Haily Martinez on the wings controlled the midfield possession throughout the game sending it through to seniors Driskell and Kanchan Dhillon and others for more than 20 Lady Bronc shots on goal.

Kern Valley scored one last time in the first half as D’Amico picked off a throw in and delivered it to Achorn for the score leaving it 2-0 at half time.

Ten minutes into the second half Goulding stole the ball at midfield and delivered Driskell to finish for her second goal of the game. Driskell went on to deliver one more goal and earn a hat trick for the game when Lexi Baker (playing the field while freshman Molly Watson took over in the goal) earned a corner kick. Allen delivered a perfect corner kick which Driskell headed into the goal making the final score 4-0 for the Lady Broncs.

Thursday’s game against Mojave was cancelled due to poor field conditions. So, the Lady Broncs head to a showdown with Boron in the first High Desert League game of the year with only one preseason game under our belt.

Head coach Tom Cormack said, “I have high hopes for our team this year. We have a host of enthusiastic, experienced seniors who are well and fit. If we can maintain our focus and work ethic, and refrain from the kind of season-ending injuries that plagued us last year, we will have a great season.”

Season Preview

What year of coaching are you in? 18th year as soccer coach, 5 years as inaugural boys, 13 years as girls coach.

Who, if any are your assistant coaches? Paul Armes has been coaching AYSO and club for years and is now enthusiastically stepping in to help. Chelsea Cormack, an alumni of the Lady Broncs soccer team, brings four plus years of post high school soccer experience to our team with a boat load of knowledge to share and skills to show. Janet Cormack will again be managing the stats and video program for our team.

How many players on this year’s team? 21.

What are names and grades of all the players? Arika D’Amico, 12, fourth year, Abby Achorn, 12, Captain, fourth year, Abigale Goulding, 12, Captain, fourth year, Kanchan Dhillon, 12, fourth year, Jordan Allen, 12, fourth year, Rachel Driskell, 12, fourth year, Genesis Hope, 12, second year, Hannah Ocampo, 11, third year, Anne Keverline, 11, second year, Bella Williams, 11, second year, Lexi Baker, 11 third year, Allie Kober, 11, Mila Morgan, 10, second year, Melissa Scoggan, 10, second year, Haily Martinez, 10, second year, Nina Gaudsmith, 10, second year, Erin Hall, 10, Molly Watson, 9, Brooke Watson, 9, River Sartor, 9, Angela Lezama, 9.

How many and names of returners? Our core of returners will include Goulding, D’Amico, Driskell, Achorn, Baker and Allen.

What is your goal as the coach this season? As a coach I hope to manage a smooth transition from the past to the future. We have a solid foundation of seasoned veterans healthy, and ready to play. We have a good group of underclassmen who have worked to develop their skills in the off season, and we have a good crop of incoming freshmen to top it off.

What is your goal for the players this season? We must put together a cohesive unit not just with improving our skills in possession and finishing, but also in terms of team formation to be in position to support and attack.

Who are the key losses from last year’s team? We will certainly miss Ali Hansen as well as Skylar Newton, Tayah Bushling, Katie Lamping and Danielle Debski.

Who are the potential key additions to this year’s team? Brooke Watson and Molly Watson.

What are you looking for in the non-league portion of the schedule? Alas, due to the addition of two extra teams this year, our preseason is a short two game season, versus Wonderful and Mojave.

Who are the teams to beat in the HDL? As co-league champs with us two years ago, and clear league and CIF champs last year, I believe Rosamond will be looking strong again this year. Bishop and Frazier will be tough as always. And, if Desert holds to their curve of improvement they will be a force as well. Look for a very competitive league as we expand to seven teams.

What is the strength of your team? Our team strength will be the coordinated defense we can develop around our veteran keeper and center back line. To the extent that we can develop unity in the midfield to possess the ball and mount an attack from that platform with speed on the attack from our strikers and wings, we will be in the hunt for a league championship.

What are the areas that need work? Possession through solidifying team shape, communication, and quick control with passing will give us the platform to transition from defense to attack and use the speed we have in our forwards.

A closing statement: It’s been a rewarding 18 years as soccer coach at Kern Valley High School! I have been privileged to coach a host of wonderful players both on the boys side and girls side. I wouldn’t trade those relationships and memories for the world. I treasure the memories and am really looking forward to what this year’s Lady Broncs team can accomplish if they work hard, and stay focused to lay a foundation for the future.