Amelia in goal: Palisade keeper focused on team

Palisade goalkeeper Ameila Davis is a team leader and wants to build on last season’s selection to the all-Western Slope League team.



QUICKREAD

Central

Coach: Doug Beach

Top returning players: Stacy Kinnett, sr., midfielder; Haieigh Higgins, sr., forward; Ashley Paul, sr., forward; Sara Patrick, sr., midfielder; Alyssa Workman, sr., defender.

Last year: 11-2-2, SWL champs, Lost first round of 5A state

Notes: The Warriors (3-1) lost six seniors to graduation, including co-SWL player of the year, Savannah Moore, but they have their leading goal scorer back in Higgins. Freshman Lindsay Dwyer leads the team with eight goals so far this season.

Fruita Monument

Coach: Tracey Burke

Top returning players: Whitney Welch, sr., defender; Jesse Siddeek, jr., midiflelder; Kat Howe, sr., defender; Lauren Alpert, sr., forward.

Last year: 1-14

Notes: The Wildcats (0-4-1) will look to rebuild with eight new varsity players this season with seven returning players. Although they lost a few players from last year, Burke says she has the strongest freshman class in a few years.

Grand Junction

Coach: Adrea Tilford

Top returning players: Stephanie Drake, jr., midfielder; Whitney Ravan, jr., forward; Danielle Erickson, jr., forward; Jennifer Kelly, sr., midfielder; Ashley Wallace, jr., midfielder.

Last year: 10-3-2, third in Southwestern League

Notes: The Tigers (1-1) are ready to challenge Central for the league title with 10 retuning starters and five of them are seniors. Drake led the team in scoring with nine goals. Ravan and Wallace scored six each. Junior midfielder Kristen Ryan will be a key contributor as well.

Palisade

Coach: Raina Sorensen

Top returning players: Amelia Davis, sr., goalkeeper; Flannery Davis, so., midfielder; Mackeinze Clark, sr., forward.

Last year: 8-7, lost in first round of 4A state.

Notes: The Bulldogs (0-0-1) have two full teams for the first time in four years, according to coach Sorenson. Palisade has 11 returning varsity players and hopes to go even further in the Class 4A state playoffs this season.



Amelia Davis may be more concerned about her teammates than she is about herself.

Those qualities, along with her ability, make her an ideal goalkeeper for the Palisade High School girls soccer team.

“I want everyone to have a good experience and have fun playing,” Davis said. “We want to do well, but we can’t forget the fact it should be a good experience.”

The Palisade senior led the Bulldogs to their first Class 4A state playoffs appearance in more than a decade last year and was selected the Western Slope League player of the year.

“Amelia is a great leader,” Palisade coach Raina Sorensen said. “The girls look up to her. They say they want to be like her. It’s neat to hear that. She makes sure girls stay on top of grades.”

Davis and the Bulldogs begin league play against Delta at 6 tonight at Walker Field.

“We made state for the first time in 11 years (last year),” Davis said. “We hope to build on that, but we can’t look ahead. We have to focus on each opponent as they come.”

Davis has developed those leadership skills from years of playing the goalkeeper position.

“My coach kind of stuck me in goal in rec soccer, but it was something I enjoyed,” Davis said.

She became a full-time keeper when she was 10 years old and started playing club soccer.

“I’ve always been told the job of the goalkeeper is to not only save the ball, but you also want to prevent goals by organizing the defense and team so that runs are marked and prevent a play on goal from actually happening,” Davis said. “It’s a very vocal position. You’re not only giving direction to the team, but I try to give as much encouragement as I can. I think it’s a combination of both direction and telling people they are doing a good job.

“I’m not a very vocal person, but I try to encourage people in whatever they do.”

Although Davis has proved she’s the best goalkeeper in the league, she’s more concerned about getting better and hopes to play in college.

She’s applied to 10 institutions of higher learning and has been told by the schools’ soccer coach that she would at least get an opportunity to try out.

“I love to play soccer,” Davis said. “I would like to continue doing that. Soccer is something, you can continue after college, but it’s not the same level.”

Davis doesn’t just play soccer. She plays in the band, is in the International Baccalaureate Program and volunteers at the Children Migrant Services.


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