Demons ready to turn soccer program around
When a team is mired in a streak of three consecutive losing seasons and hasn’t won a match in its conference in nearly two calendar years, it would be easy for its members to get downtrodden.
While those are the facts about the Washington High School girls’ soccer team’s record, that is not the case regarding the Demon girls’ attitude.
Last season the Demons went 3 – 11 overall, 0 – 6 in Southeast Conference games, but you couldn’t tell if you attended a practice. What you see instead is a group of girls working to turn the program around.
Marissa Riffel is in her second year as the assistant coach of the Demons.
“We have quite a bit of freshmen this year so we’re still trying to figure out our lineups. We’re pretty versatile because our girls are new to soccer. We have been in the weight room since January and the girls have been committed to it. We’ve been running outside every day, so we’ve put a lot of miles in,” Riffel said.
Among the returning players this year is senior Chayse Jaspering. Jaspering led the team in goals with six and points with 12. Junior Stephanie Evans also returns for Washington in goal. Evans occupied the net for the Demons in all 14 games last year and made 231 saves.
The Demons begin the season at home against Columbus Community, whom Washington got two of its three wins over last season, on Tuesday, April 8. Two road dates come between that match and a home match against Mid-Prairie on April 15.
The Demons’ first Southeast Conference match will be at Fairfield on April 17 followed by two home conference matches against Keokuk on April 22 and Fort Madison on April 24. The last of four consecutive conference matches will be played on April 28 at Mt. Pleasant.
A home match against Centerville on April 29 precedes a string of three away matches, which includes dates at Keokuk and at Fort Madison. Washington then hosts Mt. Pleasant on May 15, Iowa City Regina on May 19 and Fairfield on May 22 in the conference and home finale. The Demons will end the regular season at Oskaloosa on May 23.
The conditioning work will pay off for the Demons as they gain experience in establishing the foundations of a successful program. Under the leadership of Evans, Jaspering and Riffel, the effort level is sure to be high all season long.