For some programs winning a district championship is a goal, but Belton is beyond that.
After adding another district championship to the school’s collection, the 2013 campaign is about more than just regular season wins.
“We always talk about our goals and of course we want to try and win a district title, but each year we sit with the team and try to set goals to make it further in the playoffs and to accomplish higher things,” Lady Tigers coach Wendy Knight said.
Last season the Lady Tigers won their ninth straight district title. It was Belton’s 11th championship in 14 years overall and advanced to the playoffs before losing to Duncanville in the bi-district round in a shootout.
The oldest members of the Lady Tiger varsity team were barely in preschool when Belton’s run began.
This season the Lady Tigers will have to win district without Jaime Boone.
Boone had an outstanding senior season, scoring 34 goals and passing out 13 assists to become the fourth consecutive Lady Tiger player to win the Killeen Daily Herald All-Area Soccer MVP.
Knight said she anticipates a big year from junior midfielder Aubrey Martinez this season after she was an all-district first team selection last year.
“She just has a phenomenal touch, great sense of the goal and an ability to just put the ball in the back of the net,” Knight said. “She sees the field really well and I see some great things from her.”
Senior forward Ashley Winkler looks to have another strong season after making the all-district first team last year.
The Lady Tigers do have some experience defensively as junior goalkeeper Courtney Dipple returns after being a first team selection last season.
All-district first teamer Jacey Love will serve as the anchor of the midfield.
Knight said that you can’t necessarily pencil in the Lady Tigers into the top seed for the playoffs just yet as District 8-5A has some challengers for the postseason.
“(Waco) Midway always has a lot of competition and they’re going to bring a lot of talent,” Knight said. “With the shuffling of coaches they’ll be some interesting things going on.”
Tigers look to stay on top
Belton boys head soccer coach Tarcisio Mosnia knows that the goal may be the same, but the way of getting there won’t necessarily be.
If Mosnia is going to win or share the district title for a 10th straight season, they will do so without a super star player in 2014.
“We don’t have the star players or the impact players that we used to have in the past,” Mosnia said. “Right now it’s a matter of team play and so far things are going well.”
Last season the Tigers shared the district title with Waco Midway and made it to the area playoffs before losing a 2-0 match to Lewisville Marcus.
Angel Hernandez was the big cat for the Tigers in 2013 scoring 23 goals to go with six assists.
The Tigers have four players returning from last season as Belton will also have to fill the void left by Carlo Mosnia, last year’s Goalkeeper MVP award winner.
“The challenge is being able to be able to make them a team and make them all responsible players on the team,” Mosnia said.
Senior Cesar Cruz will serve as one of the team leaders in the midfield along with Nick Amato. Both Cruz and Amato made the all-district first team last season.