Sports Stories
girls-soccar-8-8.jpgDynasty.  Say that word out loud a few times.  Memories of some of the top women’s teams to ever play their respective sport should begin to shoot through your mind like a freight train.
By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers

Dynasty.  Say that word out loud a few times.  Memories of some of the top women’s teams to ever play their respective sport should begin to shoot through your mind like a freight train.

There was the Houston Comets of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

The Comets went on to win the first three WNBA championships in the first three years of its existence during the 1997-1999 seasons.

Those teams were led by Sheryl Swoopes, Michelle Snow and Tina Thompson.

Sticking with the same sport, the Tennessee Volunteers won three national titles in three years during the 1996-1998 seasons under Head Coach Pat Summitt.

Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Marciniak along with Summitt were the leaders of those great teams.

The Volunteers even added to their trophy case this past season, claiming the national championship for the seventh time in Tennessee women’s basketball history.

In soccer, the Women’s National Team for USA Soccer  won the 2004 Olympic Soccer Tournament in Greece.

They also won the Women’s Gold Cup in the United States in 2000 and 2002.

So what does all of this have to do with high school girls soccer?

Well, good things, or dynasties, come in threes. 

A team is usually not considered a dynasty until they have at least won three championships within a set amount of years, or even three in a row in their respective sport.

Well, the Sedona Red Rock High girls soccer team will look to three-peat as 1A-3A state champions this season.

That is something which has not been accomplished before in 1A-3A girls soccer during the fall season.

The girls began their quest on the soccer field Monday, Aug. 6.

“I’m really looking forward to this season and having fun with the girls, it’s a good group of kids,” Sedona Head Coach Tom Cadigan said.

Seton Catholic High has won five state championships in a row [2002-2006], but that is during the winter season in high school soccer.

Granted, the 1A-3A regional alignment did not begin until 2000, when the three regions were joined by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

But don’t tell the girls that, as it doesn’t matter to them.  Nor should it.

Top returners

The Scorpions have seven seniors returning to this years squad, all of which have two championship rings on their fingers.

With two titles, what more could they want. They’ve accomplished the biggest goal you can reach.

“I’m looking forward to just playing soccer and beginning with my friends.  And of course, winning another state title would be nice,” senior forward Courtney Loscheider said.

Loscheider is one of the many top returning senior players, along with Kelly Cadigan, Chelsea Lee-Wilkens and Rami West.

Cadigan is seen as the leader of this team, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

“Kelly [Cadigan] is the glue to this team.  She has a good feel for the game and all of the girls respect her as a person,” Tom Cadigan said.

Kelly Cadigan, along with junior returner Breanne Cunningham, will make up a strong front line for the Scorpions.

“Those two kids just get it and go, they play so well together,” Tom Cadigan said.

Other notable junior returners are goalie Jessica Garnello, striker Kelly Zarcone and strong halfback and defenseman Alika Middleton.

“I would like to win state again, but I’m looking forward to just playing soccer and getting better,” Cunningham said.

On the offensive side of the field, Cadigan wants to score more goals and keep the pressure on the other team.

“We want more shots on goal this season.  The more shots we get, the better chance we have to score,” Cadigan said.

Defensively, the Scorpions are very strong, as strong as they have been the past two years.

“Our defense can step up when it needs to, we have plenty of talent to do the job,” Cadigan said.

As for incoming freshman, this year beholds a good crop of young players, most notably Emma Kukulskie and Samantha Hauserman.

“We have a great group of young freshman coming in.  I’m excited to see what those girls can do,” Cadigan said.

Kukulskie and Hauserman are both products of the Verde Valley Soccer Club, so both should challenge for varsity positions this season for the Scorpions.

The schedule

The Scorpions will face many of the same opponents as they did last season, but everyone will be gunning for them this year.

“When you win two state titles in a row, everyone is gunning for you.  You have a big target on your back,” Cadigan said.

The girls should get some tough competition this year against conference foe Camp Verde High.

Also, Payson High and Desert Christian High are always tough to beat.

But the real test will come when the Scorpions eventually face St. Johns High, a perennial state contender.

“St. Johns is not on the schedule, but we will see them at the Show Low tournament or in the state playoffs,” Cadigan said.

The Show Low tournament is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22.

Wrap up

Cadigan, 50, believes that getting girls involved in sports is very important in their upbringing.

“All kids should be involved in sports, or other activities.  It gives them an outlet from every day life,” Cadigan said.

Cadigan also wants to encourage his girls to look at playing soccer at the next level.

“We have a few kids that may want to get to the next level, and I will do everything I can to help them get there,” Cadigan said.

Most importantly, Cadigan wants the girls to just be happy with what they’re doing, and enjoy this time in their life.

“They are all good kids, and they hopefully will come together and we can win a lot of games and even a state title,” Cadigan said.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 131, or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.