The Copperas Cove soccer season will end on March 21 with a home contest vs. Temple. The Lady Bulldawgs, currently 4-8 in District 8-5A, won’t be part of the postseason derby.
Immediately after the Temple-Cove game concludes, as far as junior forward Amanda Arrisola is concerned, the 2015 soccer season will begin.
“I am determined that we will shock the district next year,” said Arrisola. “We lost too many games early this season. Next year, we’ll be ready to go right from the start.”
Arrisola is ready to do her part.
“My dad put a soccer net in our backyard,” she said. “So I’ll be getting all my teammates together and we’ll be practicing. I want us to form a strong bond, on the field and off the field.”
Arrisola has 12 goals this season, second on Cove to senior Shelbie Letzer’s 16.
“Amanda plays with a whole lot of heart,” said Cove assistant coach Pat Rox. “Amanda has been more of a leader by her play rather than what she says. But next year, I expect you’ll see her take a strong vocal leadership role, too.”
“Her work ethic is second to none,” said Cove head coach Hagen Streckel of Arrisola. “She covers the entire field so well. She has great vision and she is so mobile.”
Simply put, Arrisola has wheels.
“Because she is so exceptionally fast, she can create space for herself,” Streckel said.
“I guess my speed has always been there,” Arrisola said. “My dad (Nick) was a track star, so maybe that’s where my speed comes from. But, still, I wish I was faster and that is something I will be working on big-time.”
Arrisola played on varsity as a freshman and was named All-District Honorable Mention. As a sophomore, Arrisola earned Second-Team All-District honors.
“Coming into this season, my junior year, I felt a lot more confident,” she said.
Last Friday, against perennial-powerhouse Belton, it was Arrisola who gave Cove its best chance at a goal.
Trailing 5-0 with 4:25 to play, a determined Arrisola blasted a beautiful 23-yard shot at Belton’s net.
“We were determined to score and I wanted to give our fans something to cheer about,” Arrisola said.
“It was a great shot,” Streckel said. “It seemed like time stood still for a while. It looked like it was going in.”
A goal against Belton would have been a major deal.
The Lady Tigers have outscored their foes this season by a combined 67-2.
“Amanda hit that ball to the dead center of the goal,” Rox said. “Just under the crossbar. It was an awesome shot. It’s everything we ask of our players—to put the ball on frame.”
But, alas, Belton keeper Courtney Dippel went airborne and made a spectacular save.
“Courtney is an amazing keeper,” Arrisola said. “She has amazing hands. I was ready to celebrate, but Courtney made a great play.”
“You have to credit their keeper,” Rox said. “Amanda’s shot was so good that their keeper had to make an outstanding save to stop it.
“Amanda can be hesitant sometimes to shoot, because she’s such a team player. But that shot was an excellent example of what we want her to do—keep shooting, because she’s so good at it.”
“Amanda played spectacular all game against Belton,” Streckel said. “And we know she’ll have a great senior season.”