Red Devil women moving forward in 2009

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Members of the 2009 Allen County Community College women’s soccer team are (left to right), front row, Jordan Pepper, Allie Garza, Janel Gonzalez, Chelsea Reynolds, Kellea Hampton, Mashyra Darby-Bey, Jen Carlson; back row, assistant coach Jordan Knowles, head coach Doug Desmarteau, Danielle Campagnano, Whitney Coblentz, Abby Bellis, Samantha Pluma, Sarah Roether, Erika Williams, Ashley Wolf, and assistant coach Jeremy McGinnis.

Doubling their wins from the year before showed progress for Allen County Community College’s women on the soccer field. The Red Devils were 5-11 overall in 2008 and 4-7 in Jayhawk Conference play.
In 2009, the Red Devils and head coach Doug Desmarteau are pushing forward to continue the trend. Allen County’s women have four sophomores back “and some exciting freshmen” on the team of 14.
“It’s been good the past few years to have a team of soccer players. Early on here, we were asking girls who were athletes to come out and help us fill a team,” Desmarteau said. “We have 14 girls who can play the game and that’s another step forward for our women’s program.”
Desmarteau is in his fifth season as head coach of the ACCC soccer teams. Goals stay the same — winning season, make the playoffs, win a Region VI championship.
“We’re taking in it step by step. We’ve been able to make the playoffs in recent years but keep getting beat in the first round. We’re striving to have a strong enough regular season to host an opening round game in the playoffs and move into the semifinals.”
Last year, the Red Devils missed the playoffs.
Leading them back on the soccer pitch will be sophomores Sarah Roether, Diana Munoz, Samantha Pluma and Abigail (Abby) Bellis. Roether is a midfielder who earned Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) honorable mention in 2008. She scored six goals and had two assists for Allen County.
“We expect Sarah to score more this season playing outside midfielder and forward. Abby is a good attacking center midfielder who sets her teammates up well going to the goal. Diana is coming off a knee injury and is healthy. She’ll be up top and add to our speed on offense,” Desmarteau said.
“Sam is a center back and is a very vocal leader. She’s physical and an organizer on the field.”
Allen County has two freshman goalkeepers — Kella Hampton of Grove, Okla., and Chelsea Rey-nolds of Mulvane.
Hampton was an all-state keeper in Oklahoma and has the size and quickness to be a strong goalie. Reynolds is good in the goal and provides depth in that spot for ACCC.
Jordan Pepper of Bedford, Texas, scored six goals for the Red Devils in their annual alumni game on Aug. 15. Desmarteau said Pepper and Jen Carlson of Kansas City, Mo., give Allen County speed in attacking the goal.
Other freshmen on the team are Ashley Wolf of Manhattan, Danielle Campagnano, Mashyra Darby-Bey and Janelle Gonzalez, all out of Topeka, Erika Williams of Wichita and Whitney Coblentz of Tulsa, Okla.
“All of our freshman can play soccer. We need them to step up and meet the challenge of playing at the college level. I consider this the best women’s team I’ve had at Allen County so my expectations for the season are high,” Desmarteau said.
Jeremy McGinnis and Jordan Knowles return as assistant coaches for the ACCC soccer program.
The Red Devil women tuned up for the 2009 season with an exhibition game Tuesday. They open the season Monday against Cowley County Community College at Arkansas City.
Allen County’s home opener is Sept. 10 against Hesston.