Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Kapan building a well-rounded girls soccer squad

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | September 7, 2021 7:00 AM

A young, but athletic girls soccer squad will be representing Libby on the pitch this year.

Since practices began in early August, coach Eric Kapan said he had worked with the 17 players who came out for the team to shore up fundamental skills. While he anticipated the season would be a building year for the team, he noted new players were quickly taking to the sport.

“It’s just building that house,” he said. “They’ll get it.”

The team is counting on two returning juniors and two returning sophomores. One junior, who played as a freshman, will be rejoining the Lady Loggers. A new sophomore, an untested senior and 10 freshmen round out the team.

Many of the new players have experience in other sports and have played together, according to Kapan. This has made it easier for them to find their groove as teammates on the soccer squad.

Although the Lady Loggers fell 4-0 in their first game of the season against Stevensville, Kapan said that all of the Jackets’ goals had resulted from Libby mistakes that could be fixed.

Rather than work on developing one or two players that could carry the team, Kapan hopes to create strong offense and defensive squads, each with five or six reliable players. This strategy, he said, would create a more resilient team.

Kapan compared a recent Columbia Falls team that had trouble compensating after their star player graduated to a Whitefish team with eight to 10 solid players that barely lost the state championship.

“I wanted to develop a well-rounded team,” said Kapan.

To help even the playing field for the Loggers, Kapan has worked with Joe Martineau, the new coach for the boy team, to develop the pitch at J. Neils Memorial Park.

In the past, the girls and boys teams have had to play on the Libby football field, which is smaller than a standard pitch. Being able to practice on a full-sized pitch will help the team take on other schools that have historically trained on regulation playing fields.

Both the Logger boys and girls teams hit the road to play at a tip-off tournament at Hamilton on Friday and Saturday.