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The first season for Sedona’s first professional sports team ended virtually the same way it started, and head coach Manny Arias has no intentions of repeating it.

Injuries to forward Paola Espino, taking a throw-in in a June loss at the Los Angeles Blues, forced Head Coach Manny Arias, bottom left, to play 10 Sedona FC Strikers the full 90 minutes in their final game of the season, a 6-0 loss Sunday, July 13, at the Colorado Pride.

The Sedona Strikers Football Club could muster only two shots on goal — the same number of goals it managed to score all season — closing it out with a 6-0 road loss Sunday, July 13, to the Colorado Pride at Colorado College.

“I’m very proud of the players that finished with me,” he said. “The girls played tired, they don’t sleep well, they don’t eat well. I told them at Colorado, you’re my heroes — with all my heart, you guys saved everything here with me.”

Jaclyn Teresinski had 15 saves July 13 and mustered the Strikers’ lone home goal July 5 in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Rush. Teresinski was moved from forward to be the sole goalkeeper for the Strikers during their season-ending three-game road swing through Colorado due to the absence of regular starting goalie Esthefanny Barreras, who along with midfielder Olivia Jimenez missed the road trip due to a work-play opportunity with the Mexican National Team in Canada.

A signing freeze instituted July 5 by the Strikers’ parent United Soccer League left Sedona — already decimated by season-ending injuries to defender Rosa Gonzales and midfielder Holly Mikulas — with 12 total players for the trip. Plus, budget constraints prevented the Strikers from even embarking on the road trip until 2 a.m. July 9, Arias said.

For the full story, please see the Friday, July 18, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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