Faith Lucero gets past a defender to score. Seniors Faith Lucero and Marae Angel picked up all-tournament honors for Socorro.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

The Lady Warriors are off to a good start, but coach Amanda Saenz wants more aggression from her team after a 3-0 loss to Moriarty on Aug. 26 to close out the Socorro Shootout.

“I think they came out timid. For many of these girls, it’s their first time playing high school soccer. So every game, they’re like, Oh, they’re very large. They’re bigger than us. And I’m like, every team will be bigger,” Saenz said.

The second-year coach got through to her team at halftime because the Lady Warriors played much better in the second half, which was a 0-0 draw. The first half saw Socorro playing on its heels, resulting in a 3-0 disadvantage.

Still, Socorro had a 10-0 win to open the season and topped Silver City 3-1 on Friday to open the shootout. Saenz expected one more game for her Lady Warriors, but Gallup dropped out at the last minute.

“I think it (the two wins) boosted the girls’ confidence a little bit. They could have passed a lot better today. We started to pass there at the end, which we should have been better at. This is just a learning experience for them for sure. We’re playing bigger schools at this tournament, which is good for us down the road when we’re going into district, so hopefully, the girls look at our record, and they see that we are playing up.”

With the season so new, the hardest thing for Saenz is getting her rotation down and dealing with a short-handed bench.

“My biggest thing is learning the rotations with the girls. I mean, we have a really short bench. So, some girls are playing a lot more minutes in there than they’ve ever done in their lives.” Saenz said. “Just learning the rotations for me is big. It’s about when we can give somebody a breather on defense, shifting them up to forward and or wing, wherever we may need help.”

Eight-grader Avery Timmons is showing great promise on the offensive end of the field.

“Avery, she’s come out super strong. She needs to get some more legs underneath her and just be a little bit more confident and not be scared of the ball. I think that just comes with experience over time. Jasmine (Alvarado) has been very aggressive.”

Alvarado notched Socorro’s first goal of the season and ignited the 10-0 shutout. Goalkeeper junior Abrianna Romero is already showing midseason form.

“She’s doing great. I mean, on the defensive end. She had two penalty kicks to defend this weekend. And she went one for two. She had one scored on her yesterday and then stopped one today, so that was super impressive. She’s stepped up a lot since last season,” Saenz said.

Seniors Faith Lucero and Marae Angel picked up all-tournament honors for Socorro.