Tigers News · Girls soccer: Tigers start season with a bang


The much anticipated debut of the 2019 Holy Family girls soccer team came on Friday night against St. Mary’s, and if you were wondering, yes, they are good.

The Tigers, even with Mother Nature teasing them with some wind and rain, were impressive in a 5-0 rout of the 3A Pirates at Mike G. Gabriel Stadium.

“They have been working hard all off season, so to finally get one in is nice,” said Holy Family coach Michelle Griego-Giron, whose team started the season as the No. 2 team in the Class 4A polls by CHSAANow.com. “The rain wasn’t pleasant, but we will take it.”

The Tigers struck quickly. With less than two minutes off the clock, junior Jules Geneser finished off a Nicolette Sandoval corner to go up 1-0.

And while the chances came fast and furious in the first twenty minutes and the thoughts of burying the Pirates quickly, nothing ever materialized and the Tigers maintained just a 1-0 lead until late int he first half.

Even with it being their first game out and the expectations through the roof, Griego-Giron wasn’t about to give her girls a pass for what wasn’t the cleanest first 20 minutes.

“I probably don’t give them as much as a pass as I should, because we have to get ready,” she said. “We have (No. 1) Silver Creek when we get back and we have some things we need to work on.

“When you play those higher level team, and take nothing away from St. Mary’s, those little mistakes will kill us.”

Sandoval bagged three straight goals — two at the end of the first half and then another in the 46th minute of the second half — that turned a tight match (at least on the scoreboard) into a blowout.

The Tigers defense was stout and never really gave St. Mary’s too many good looks. In fact the visiting Pirates from Colorado Springs managed just one shot on goal all night and it was a dandy that Tigers goalie Sally Napierkowski came way out to send away.

Lauren Clingman capped the scoring in the 62nd minute and now the Tigers, and their expectations can set their sights on the top-ranked Raptors the Monday after Spring Break.

“It’s a hard balance of keeping it fun and working hard still. It has to be fun for them and they have to like what they are doing,” Griego-Giron said. “I know that we have been pushing them hard and our expectation is to win a state title and to get there, we can’t be nice all the time.”


St. Mary’s (1-4)   0   0   —   0

Holy Family (1-0)   3   2   —   5

Goals (assists) — Jules Geneser (Nicolette Sandoval), 2nd minute; Sandoval (unassisted), 36th; Sandoval (Whitlock), 40th; Sandoval (unassisted), 46th; Lauren Clingman (62nd).

Goalies (Minutes-GA-Saves) — St. Mary’s (Becca Dunbaugh) 80-5-19; Holy Family (Sally Napierkowski) 80-0-1.