Northeast Tarrant

Lady Trojans look for return to playoffs despite turnover

Nadia Garcia (No. 12) works the ball away from a pair of Coppell players in last Friday’s game.
Nadia Garcia (No. 12) works the ball away from a pair of Coppell players in last Friday’s game. Star-Telegram

Nearly half of the players on the Trinity girls soccer team graduated last season, but head coach Kurt Clawson's team is performing well, thanks to this year's senior class.

The 2014 Lady Trojans played tough against Colleyville Heritage and Hurst L.D. Bell in district last season before facing Marcus in the playoffs. That effort has transitioned into the team's play in 2015.

“We started off well and played solid pre-district competition. This team had to adjust to a large turnover of talent and experience,” Clawson said. “Last season gave us the confidence for this year, even though we were losing the vast majority of experience.”

Trinity is coming off a loss last Friday against Coppell, and after the spring break has two games left, March 16 at Richland and March 21 against L.D. Bell (making up the Feb. 27 match-up that was postponed due to inclement weather). Then comes the bi-district round of the playoffs.

“I believe the season as a whole has been what the coaches expected. Southlake Carroll, Coppell, Colleyville Heritage earning playoff spots, with us competing for the remaining playoff spot against Bell, is what we envisioned from the beginning,” Clawson said.

“But, you still have to win or tie the winnable games to set you up for that chance.”

If the Trojans are eliminated from playoff contention, Clawson has to be happy at the way the players have grown as a team.

“We are far more creative as a team than previous years and that's fun to watch,” he said. “I'm proud of the minutes the girls are performing and playing at.”

He also is hopeful for the next few seasons, especially 2016.

“Both forwards, all outside midfielders and one keeper and several defenders are returning next year, so that's a positive,” Clawson said.

Seniors Nadia Garcia, Katie Pullano, Jaycee Palmer, Valeria Hinojosa and Meghan Mulrennan have performed well and has really impressed Clawson on and off the field. He knows that this year's senior class has set the bar for the coming years.

“The seniors have performed to the level I hoped for and surpassed it most games,” Clawson said. “They have really gelled and worked so hard that it's contagious to the rest of the team.”

“Both our goal keepers are performing well, too.”

But with the good, there's always room for improvement, and Clawson knows that next year's team will have to work even harder to fill voids in certain aspects.

“Our sweeper, keeper, veteran forward and both starting outside midfielders from last year made large shoes to fill for this year's juniors and sophomores,” he said. “Losing the three center midfielders, two of three starting defenders, and the starting goalie will be tough going into next year as well.”