The Tooele girls soccer team is coming off a breakthrough season a year ago.
In Wednesday’s season opener against West Jordan, the Buffaloes showed that last year was no fluke.
Sophomore forward MaKenna McCloy and senior forward Chelsea DeSantiago each scored a pair of goals and senior McKenna Banks added another to power Tooele to a 5-0 win on the road, with McCloy’s two goals coming within the first four minutes of the contest.
“It’s a good, solid start,” Tooele coach Stephen Duggan said. “We were consistent from start to finish. The great thing about it was that it wasn’t a perfect performance, so we’ve got things to work on on the training field tomorrow.”
McCloy got the Buffaloes (1-0) on the board in the second minute, converting from the left wing on a picture-perfect crossing pass from DeSantiago. Two minutes later, she scored again on a partial break down the left wing, and Banks added a goal in the 11th minute.
“We were dangerous going forward,” Duggan said. “We’ve got pace, and in the middle of the field, when we had our balance, we were really, really good. In front of the goal, they were composed.”
Tooele’s defense was also solid, allowing just one shot on goal from the Jaguars (0-2). Buffs senior goalkeeper Kate Michael was sharp when she needed to be, settling things down when West Jordan did get opportunities.
With the Jaguars unable to generate much offense of their own, the Buffs were able to build on their lead. DeSantiago’s first goal of the game came in the 33rd minute, as she scored on a rebound of Sydney Russell’s corner kick. DeSantiago added another goal in the 66th minute on a hard shot from the right wing.
Duggan was pleased following Wednesday’s season-opening victory, and is looking forward to the season ahead with a dozen seniors on the roster.
“We know there are tougher tests ahead,” Duggan said. “We’re a better team than last year — I’m telling you that now. We are a far superior team to last year in every aspect. Technically and tactically, we’re a far better team.”
The Buffs are back in action Monday afternoon at home against Juab.