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Sandy Journal

Jordan soccer has a good building year

Oct 28, 2016 11:31AM ● By Billy Swartzfager

2016 Jordan High School girls soccer team. (Marli Martin/Jordan Soccer)

By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]

Sandy, Utah - The Jordan girls soccer team just wrapped up their 2016 season, playing undefeated region two power Davis on Oct. 11, the first day of the 2016 state tournament. The Beetdiggers lost the matchup on Davis’ home field 3-0.

The young Jordan team finished the regular season 5-8-1, with a record of 5-7 in their region, taking fourth place and earning a spot in the state tournament. The season, which began back in August, started with a 0-0 tie against Hillcrest. The Beetdiggers followed the tie with a pair of losses to Murray (8-0) and Copper Hills (5-0). Jordan earned its first win of the year against West Jordan (3-0) on August 25, followed by another two wins against Cottonwood
(8-0) and Taylorsville (1-0). Jordan didn’t win again until they played West Jordan once more on Sept. 25, scoring three goals to the Jaguars’ one. 

The team this year was led by a few returning players. Sophomore goal tender Erika Oldham played very well, as did Gwen Christipherson, also a sophomore, who was one of the team’s leading scorers. Alli Pickering, one of the sparse number of seniors on the team, played a solid midfield for the Beetdiggers. 

“She is the muscle to our team,” fourth-year coach Marli Martin said of Alli’s abilities as both a player and a leader. 

After another win over region four Cottonwood on Sept. 27, Jordan lost the remainder of their games, though to many tough teams, including Brighton (3-1) and Bingham (5-1). Even though Jordan didn’t have a winning record for the season, they still accomplished their goals from the beginning of the year. 

After losing seven seniors from 2015, Martin knew her team was going to be young and mostly inexperienced. So, the coach wanted to utilize the few remaining upperclassmen to set an example for the young, up-and-coming players who will lead the team in years to come. 

“We have a small senior class that is passing on their dedication and discipline to our team,” Martin said. “They are setting the example on how to get better every day.”

The majority of practice time is spent building upon lessons learned from the previous day’s game or practice. The players focus on their individual roles and how to improve upon them as well as learning about the role they play on the team and how those roles lead to success. 

“We train to do better every day. Every drill, exercise I create is to build upon the last day,” said Martin.

That collective approach should help the Beetdiggers in seasons to come. They believe when everyone plays their role, it will lead to successful team soccer. If they start with the ball in the back and maintain possession of it going forward, moving the ball wisely, they believe they will create more opportunities on goal up front. 

“We are working on being dangerous in our attack,” Martin said.

Aside from the state tournament, the Jordan soccer players look forward to region matches, particularly against neighboring Brighton, a team which took second in the region this season and won both matches against the Beetdiggers. Jordan will have to wait until 2017 for another crack at the Bengals, or anyone else, but it looks as though the experiences in 2016 will provide for a strong outing when they reconvene next season.

“We are a young team and working on building them to compete in a couple years. They are hard workers and take pride in being the underdog in every game,” Martin said.