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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Taft girls soccer team aims for high scores on field, in classroom

Taft Girls Soccer

Gaudy goals such as becoming the first Taft High girls soccer team to make a State playoff run are among coach Joey Arce-Torres’ lofty aspirations for his team this season, but excelling in the classroom is also high on his list.

“Getting the highest GPA of all fall sports at Taft and the sportsmanship trophy for our conference,” Arce-Torres said of his squad’s priorities as the team prepares to open its season Tuesday at home with a tough first assignment against Amity.

He’ll certainly have the numbers to draw from to accomplish several firsts this season, beginning at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on the pitch at Voris Field.

“We are extremely fortunate to be bringing back a large group this season,” Arce-Torres said.

Expected to lead a squad of nearly 25 girls is senior Sammy Halferty, the team’s leading scorer from last year.

Sammy Halferty

“She has looked very sharp during summer workouts and has increased her conditioning level and accuracy,” Arce-Torres said. “I expect her to carry much of the responsibility of our vertically attacking offense.”

Sophomore Jaelyn Olmeda will join Halferty with scoring responsibilities this season, Arce-Torres said.

“Her increased knowledge of the game and overall speed has been very noticeable from the previous season,” he said.

Junior Avery Nightingale is likely to anchor the Taft defense despite seeing limited practice because of a summer exchange program.

“We expect to see her develop into a possible all-league candidate this season,” Arce-Torres said.

Sophomore Nicole Reyes will shift from midfielder to goalie this season.

“We are very excited by her move,” he said.

Senior Ella Knott, who also stars in track and field, will return to the team following a devastating knee injury last year.

“She is one of the fastest athletes in the state and appears very confident in her scoring ability this year,” Arce-Torres said.

Taft will welcome the addition of sophomore Ryan Sue, who Arce-Torres said has shown great promise.

“She, too, has a good understanding of space and no fear in gaining possession of 50/50 balls,” he said. “She also has a very accurate shot.”

Senior Autumn Ellis, who played as freshman but supported the cross country program over the last two seasons, is rejoining the team and “has shown amazing conditioning and leadership,” he said.

Autumn Ellis
Nightingale and Ellis

Team depth and speed leading a potent offensive attack best characterizes the Tigers this season, Arce-Torres said..

“We will also score more goals as a team than any previous season, but our defense will be the area that requires a few games to get comfortable for a solid opportunity to make a State run,” he said. “We will be starting a new goalie and have many new starters. They have the athleticism to compete — just lacking in experience.”

Arce-Torres said he looks for Blanchet Catholic, Yamhill Carlton and Amity to pose the Tigers’ toughest competition, “but most of the teams within our large conference will be very competitive.”

Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Standings

League Overall GS GA  Rank
 Salem Academy / Western Christian (3A) 0-0 0-1 0 10 13
 Yamhill-Carlton (3A) 0-0 0-1 1 6 13
 Blanchet Catholic (3A) 0-0 0-1 2 3 21
 Amity / Perrydale (3A)
 Dayton (3A)
 Gervais (2A)
 Taft (3A)

GS-Goals Scored; GA-Goals Allowed


Tuesday, Sept. 10 vs. *Amity, 4:15 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 12 vs. *Salem Academy, 4:15 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 16 @ *Blanchet Catholic, 4:15 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 19 vs. *Yamhill-Carlton, 4:15 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 23 @ *Dayton, 7 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 30 @ *Gervais, 4:15 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 3 @ *Amity, 4:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 8 @ *Salem Academy, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 10 vs. *Blanchet Catholic, 4:15 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 14 @ *Yamhill-Carlton, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 17 vs. *Dayton, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 24 vs. *Gervais, 5 p.m.

  • denotes league game


Coach: Joey Arce-Torres

No.       Name                                       Position     Year

2          Ella Knott                                  M/F             12

4          Chloe Peterson                          M/F             10

5          Fatima Lupercio                         D/M            12

6          Grace Kowarko                          M/D            10

7          Ariel Taylor                                D/D            11

8          Yuritzi Cuellar                            D/M            11

9          Jaelyn Olmeda                           F/M            10

10        Alexia Alvarez                           F/M             12

11        Veronica Jin                              D/M             11

12        Avery Nightingale                     D/M             11

13        Nicole Reyes                             GK/F            10

14        Delayna O’daniels                     GK/D            11

15        Alondra Cortez                          D/D             11

16        Faith Edmonds                          D/D               9

17        Olivia Coulter                            D/M             10

18        Clarithza Valequez                    M/D              11

19        Sammy Halferty                        F/M             12

20        Autumn Ellis                             M/F             12

21        Claira Tolan                              D/D             11

22        Kadence James                         M/F             10

23        Saige Ulrich                              D/M            10

24        Ryan Sou                                  M/F            10

29        Lucy Reyes                               D/M            10

Jim Fossum
Jim Fossumhttp://SilverandBlackToday.com
Homepage Executive Editor and former longtime Sports Editor of the near-200,000 circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fossum brings 40 years of award-winning experience covering virtually every facet of print and digital journalism to Lincoln City Homepage. The former longtime reporter for the Newport News-Times and Lincoln City News Guard is also Editor-in-Chief and Senior Columnist for SilverandBlackToday.com, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.


  1. Jaelyn O. You got this. So proud of you.
    Don’t forget that us Indians never give up. I woll pray for you and the team. Its your time


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