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Clovis needs numbers to succeed

Carlsbad’s Lanette Rostro shields Clovis junior Melissa Ridege from the ball during Tuesday’s game at Yucca Soccer Complex. CNJ photo by Eric Kluth.

During the time between the junior varsity and varsity girls soccer matches Tuesday night, the visiting Carlsbad High squad took the field for warmups.

The Clovis varsity, meanwhile, rested.

Except for five seniors playing their final game, the rest of the varsity had played in the JV game. It’s a scenario to which the Lady Wildcats have grown accustomed. It’s also a picture first-year coach Larry Jones would like to change in 2004.

“Hopefully, if we can get our numbers up to about 30, it will make it a lot easier,” said Jones, after his team’s season ended with a 7-1 loss to Carlsbad at the Yucca Soccer Complex.

“It would be great to have 15 playing varsity only and have two or three come up from JV,” Jones added.

Clovis (2-16, 0-8 in 4-5A) earned its only wins of the year over Las Vegas Robertson and Ruidoso — two Class 3A squads.

In Tuesday’s contest, Carlsbad (11-8, 4-4) took control by scoring a pair of goals midway through the first half. The Lady Wildcats curt the lead to 3-1 when freshman Cassie Belford scored on a breakaway 10 minutes before intermission.

The Cavegirls, however, reasserted themselves with another goal before halftime en route to the victory. The Cavegirls held a wide 19 to five margin in shots on goal.

Despite the season-ending loss, the Lady Wildcats were positive about the team’s progress by season’s end.

“We had a lot of people move away and then just quit the team, I guess. That only happened for a couple of months. Then, whoever was left stayed,” said Clovis senior goalkeeper Jessica Doss. “I think we had a lot of improvement throughout the entire season — game by game.”

“At the beginning of the year, it was kind of hard. Toward the end, we got better and better,” Belford said. “We started working together as a team. So I think next year should be a really good year — if everybody sticks with it.”