Sentinel Girls Soccer Besting Pre-Season Expectations - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Sentinel Girls Soccer Besting Pre-Season Expectations

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MISSOULA-- After making it to state last year, the jury was out on how good the Sentinel girls soccer team would be this season.  After all, the team featured only three returning starters...just two seniors...not to mention nine freshman would be playing varsity.

"I think I was really nervous," says senior keeper Jess Henning.

"I thought we'd have a tough time getting into it because we were such a young team," says sophomore defender Claire Danicich.

But now, three games into their season, with their lone loss on the road by one goal to Capital, the uncertainty is nearly gone.

"When I looked at the roster, I was like 'oh it may be a regrouping year, but I played with these freshmen, and we played together really well, and there was a lot of energy,  and I thought 'we're going to do good this year," says junior forward Lexi Steele.

A confident bunch now, but at the beginning of the season, knowing they were young, their coach told them in a meeting what many people thought of the Spartans heading into the season...which wasn't much

"But they are a pretty determined group of girls, and they are pretty stubborn so I think they got a little irritated with that, and every day we try to prove to everybody, it doesn't matter your age, it matters how hard you try and how hard you work in practice," says Sentinel head coach Keri Grasky.

"I think it's definitely a chip on our shoulder, everyone thinks we're just a young team and we lost a bunch of people, but it's good to prove them wrong, and to get two wins under our belt to know that we're still in it," says Henning.

While there is plenty of season left to play, the Spartans have higher expectations than many would have thought just a month ago, in large part, to their underclassmen.

"There's so much energy on this team with all the freshman coming up, it's incredible to play with them, that's probably why we're so successful right now," says Steele.

"Some practices you can be really down to business and working hard, others are more light and fun, but all over, the atmosphere is just fun, and everyone is working hard," says Danicich.

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