BY CHAD DARE
A year ago, it was a new coach for the Danville girls soccer program.
This season, it’s basically a brand-new team under second-year coach Katie Gremar.
Danville, which has only four returning players, fell to 1-5 on the season with a 9-0 loss to Springfield High on Thursday night at Ned Whitesell Field.
“We are mostly freshmen and sophomores,’’ said Gremar. “It’s going to be a rebuilding year. We are going to have a lot of tough games.
“Their attitudes have been great, and they are all really hard workers.’’
The only players coming back from last year’s squad are juniors Kyia Bryant and Marissa McMillan, along with sophomores Sam Schnelle and Taylor Ellis.
So, Gremar and her coaching staff have found themselves basically starting from scratch.
“In every practice, we learn something new,’’ she said. “We can’t take anything for granted. We’ve had to start from ground zero on almost everything we’ve taught them.
“The best part is that this bodes well for the future with all of these young girls getting this kind of experience.’’
And, it’s not only brand new players to high school soccer, Gremar said she has some girls who are just learning the sport.
“We have started with the basic skills. Because once you get those down, you can perform with a little confidence and you will play better on the field,’’ she said. “With the girls that are just learning the sport, you know that you don’t have to correct old bad habits.’’
And, the process is still ongoing.
“There have been things that we’ve tried this year that we weren’t ready for — so we’ve backed off because it’s learning process,’’ she said.
That’s exactly how she viewed Thursday’s match with Springfield High, as the Senators have played for a regional title in 10 straight seasons.
“We knew that Springfield was going to be a very tough game, because they are a very disciplined team,’’ Gremar said. “But, it was good for my girls to see a team that is able to pass the ball a lot and see how they are able to do that. That’s something that we work on in practice, every day.
“This allowed all of our girls see how it’s supposed to be done and get that experience.’’
Danville is back in action on Saturday with a Big 12 Conference match at Decatur Eisenhower.
Springfield’s Julia Rosen scored four times in Thursday’s match.