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Vaqueros preaching flexability

Coach Jorge Mena's focus will be having his player be capable of playing multiple positions in case of injuries.

August 25, 2012|By Charles Rich

A request was made by Glendale Community College women's soccer Coach Jorge Mena to his 18-member team — be prepared for the possibility of playing multiple positions during a match.

In recent seasons, the Vaqueros have suffered their share of injuries, leaving them vulnerable on the depth chart. Mena's cautiously optimistic that his squad will enjoy a state of good health and luck to go along with versatility.

"I usually like to have 20 players, but with 18, I think it's crucial to have them be able to play at least two different positions," said Mena, whose team will kick off its season at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 with a nonconference home match against San Diego City College at Sartoris Field. "We have had a lot of injuries the last few years, and they are always going to be hard to dictate. So, we need more flexibility. You try one thing one year and something different the next. It's a challenge and they try to push each other."

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In addition to seeking good health, the Vaqueros will look to raise their win total from last season. Glendale finished 2-16-1, 1-10-1 in the Western State Conference's South Division last season and missed the Southern California Regionals for the eighth consecutive season.

Mena, who was named the conference's Southern Division Coach of the Year in 2002, said the Vaqueros are aiming to rise in the division.

"We are challenging them all the time and I can see them being able to understand the game much better," Mena said. "I'm here to teach.

"We don't have that one player who can stand out, but we have a lot of players who bring different skills to the table. We don't have a lot of speed, but we have people who are good dribblers and others who can shoot from the outside. There's probably going to have to be more of an emphasis on set plays on our part."

The Vaqueros will feature five returners, including goalkeeper Seneyda Rodriguez, defenders Erin Ingram, Michelle Anacker and Rocky Jallow and midfielder Cece Martinez, a Crescenta Valley High graduate.

Mena said Rodriguez and freshman Samantha Galvan, a Hoover graduate, will battling for the goalkeeping chores.

"The goalkeepers will push each other for the starting spot, but that applies all across the field," Mena said.

The freshman group will include defenders Cecelia Nicolas and Judith Estrada, midfielders Sheila Araji, Audrey Alegria, Lidia Fernandez, Ashley Acevedo, Isa Jallow and Valerie Enciso and forwards Rebecca Krieger, Whittneigh Braxton, Madeleine Diaz and Emily Rosales.

charles.rich@latimes.com

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