Socorro Lady Warriors soccer team take playing game seriously
Call him General Carrejo, because he seemingly never runs out of ammunition.
Reloading, not rebuilding, has long been head coach Mitch Carrejo’s moniker, and for the last decade or so, it has translated into a familiar refrain around this region: The Socorro High School girls soccer team continues to win district titles at a prodigious pace.
Try nine straight, an almost inexplicable feat considering the transient nature of high school athletics. When asked how he manages to field such a competitive team every year, Carrejo divulged the Warriors’ trade secret.
“It’s the coach,” joked Carrejo, who is entering his eighth year at the helm.
This year, though, it figures to be the players.
For what it’s worth, the Warriors won’t likely have to rely on Carrejo for unprecedented coaching maneuvers or deft substitutions. Fresh off another 13-5-2 season that witnessed a second-round appearance in the state tournament, Socorro returns 12 players, including forwards Dezirae Armijo and Angelina Stanzione, who figure to be the dynamic tandem that provides the brunt of the Warriors’ goals. What’s more, Carrejo said, neither one will compete for superiority and are more than content deferring to each other. More or less, Carrejo said, everyone knows their role on the team.
“We don’t have too many dominating personalities who will break up the team,” he said. “The girls we added this year are pretty even-keeled. Sometimes it’s good to have a couple, but when you have too many of them, then they got their little groups here, and this little group is pulling against this one.”
In this case, if there will be any pulling, it will be for each other. Continuity seems to be the word of the day around the girls’ soccer camp, and not only from a roster standpoint. Coaching alongside Carrejo for the second consecutive year will be his son, Matt, who played for the Socorro boys soccer team from 2000-04. Strictly from an administrative sense, that’s made it easier on Carrejo, who doesn’t have to scramble to find an assistant coach in what has come to seem like a yearly rite of passage. More important, Carrejo said, his son is acquainted with his brand of soccer, so he doesn’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time hammering his philosophy.
“He knows what I’m going to say before I even say it most of the time,” he said.
On that note, the Warriors will not be on the clock this year — which is to say, it won’t take much, if any, time for SHS to bring along and immerse its players in the system. They’re already familiar with it, Carrejo said, which wasn’t necessarily the case last season.
Last year injuries required Carrejo to tap into his fountain of youth early, forcing underclassmen into the starting rotation. That resulted in a slow 2-5-2 start, but Carrejo doesn’t envision the Warriors stumbling at the gates this year. For one, they won’t be without Armijo, who missed six games because of a lingering ankle sprain, but returned to the lineup and scored 32 goals.
“That’s what type of athlete she is,” Carrejo said.
Defender Amanda Saenz also missed five games after breaking her leg toward the end of the season. Without those players, the Warriors leaned on Stanzione, Bill Withers style, and she didn’t disappoint, pumping in 37 goals over the season — many of those goals coming off JeriAna Contreras’ assists (19). Comparatively speaking, Stanzione scored just 11 goals in 2009, Matt Carrejo said, showing the maturation process she has undergone.
“She knew she had to step up her intuition,” he said.
Not including Saenz, Armijo and Stanzione, the Warriors will be flanked by 10 newcomers, something Carrejo said effectively solves the depth issue they encountered last year. All in all, Carrejo said he expects to field a 22-girl roster.
If anything, the biggest question mark heading into the season is goalkeeper. But Portales transfer Tayler Hammack figures to be the answer. She’ll mine the net for the Warriors, looking to fill the void left by the departure of All-District goalkeeper Mileva Gacanich. Somehow, someway, Carrejo said, things seem to work themselves out.
Which is good, because —
“We take it pretty serious,” Carrejo said.
And the Warriors will need that attitude, because they’ll be facing some pretty serious competition. Like they customarily do, the Warriors will play up in class, having scheduled 4A Belen, Bernalillo and Deming, among other 4A squads that will compete in the Socorro Cup starting Aug. 19-20. “There’s not too much deviation in what you try to do,” Carrejo said.
In other words, if Carrejo has it his way, the Warriors plan on hanging another district banner from the rafters.
Aug. 19-20 Socorro Cup TBA
Sept. 2-3 at Taos Tourney TBA
Sept. 6 vs. Bosque School 3 p.m.
Sept. 8 vs. Belen 4 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. Santa Fe Prep 11 a.m.
Sept. 12 at Bernalillo 4 p.m.
Sept. 13 vs. Pojoaque 3 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Robertson 11 a.m.
Sept. 27 vs. Deming 4 p.m.
Sept. 29 vs. Hatch Valley 4 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Rehobeth 11 a.m.
Oct. 4 vs. Ruidoso 6 p.m.
Oct. 6 vs. Silver 4 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Hatch Valley 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Silver 4 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Ruidoso 4 p.m.
Class 3A State Tournament
Oct. 29-30 First round games
Nov. 4 Class 3A Quarterfinals
Nov. 5 Class 3A Semifinals
Nov. 6 Class 3A Championship
Dezirae Armijo Forward
Bryn Botko Defender
Emily Burleson Midfielder
Teresa Chavez Defender
DamiAna Contreras Midfielder
JeriAna Contreras Midfielder
Sabine Fuierer Midfielder
Mirjana Gacanich Defender
Ayzia Guerro Defender
Tayler Hammack Goalkeeper
Zoe Howell Defender
Ezrah Jaramillo Midfielder
Tayli Lam Forward
Jenna Melanson Midfielder
Tionne Molina Midfielder
Destiny Montoya Midfielder
Ashley Nash Midfielder
Sarah Patterson Defender
Amanda Saenz Defender
Angelina Stanzione Forward
Jordan Vinson Defender
Kaitlin Warden Defender
Head Coach: Mitch Carrejo
Assistant Coach: Matt Carrejo