Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Hunter soccer determined not to be an easy target
Soccer » With new coach, new system brings fresh perspective to struggling program.
First Published Aug 08 2012 04:07 pm • Last Updated Nov 30 2012 11:31 pm

Linsey Rogerson cringes when she hears how many goals the Hunter soccer team allowed last year: 94.

"I didn’t know it was that many," she says.

At a glance

Wolverines bringing tweaked approach to the pitch

The Hunter girls soccer team allowed 94 goals last season.

New coach Brett Solberg, a Hunter grad, is emphasizing conditioning and a winning attitude this season.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

It was that many — the most in Class 5A. And the Wolverines hope it’s a number they can soon forget.

Brett Solberg, a Hunter alum himself, has swept in as the team’s new coach. He’s pushed the players in ways they haven’t been pushed, all in an effort to change the culture of a program that hasn’t seen much winning.

Although the Wolverines did manage a 5-12 record and made the playoffs last season, they lost by virtue of the "mercy rule" — an 8-goal margin — nine times last season.

The top goal this season: No mercy-rule losses.

"It’s frustrating to have all those shots go in," says Brook McKee, the team’s starting goalkeeper. "We’re definitely not expecting to win every game, but we want to compete."

The most obvious change Solberg has made so far is conditioning: The team is running more than it ever did last year. In the middle of practice, the players huddle up together and run sprints along the sides of the school field.

"You see the best teams always have girls who are in great shape," Solberg says. "Even if you learn the skills, if you can’t keep up with the other team, you’re going to get dominated."

Senior full back Morgan Allen says it more frankly: "It’s easier not to get your butt kicked if you’re not dead tired at the end."

story continues below
story continues below

Solberg had a chance to see dominance up close last season when he taught — but didn’t coach — at Alta. He watched the Hawks make their run to the state championship, leading the state in goals scored and fewest goals allowed.

His observations of Alta have helped shape Hunter’s new brand of soccer. Team members are becoming more conscious of what’s going on around them: who is making the cut, where to attack the goal. Solberg keeps a whiteboard close at hand to diagram plays and explain to his pupils.

"We don’t have as much down time as last year," Allen says. "We’re just playing a lot more."

Some position switches are expected to help the team as well. Rogerson, formerly a midfielder, will shore up the back line as a stopper. One of the faster members of the team, Stephanie Figueroa, will play more on attack.

It might not be a dynasty in the making, but the team feels a gently rising tide of optimism.

"We want to at least show that we can be a challenge to the really good teams," Figueroa says. "We want to try our hardest and not get mercy ruled."

Figueroa explains she lives with a soccer-rabid family — her uncle played professionally in Mexico. As a sophomore on last year’s team, she found a lot of frustration.

With a new season and a new coach, there’s been some rejuvenation.

"[Coach Solberg] has motivation for us," she says. "He was a player, so he knows what it takes."

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.