Triton soccer ready to go

The Iowa Central men’s and women’s programs will try to get back to national dominance this coming season on the pitch.

Entering his third season, Ben Taylor hopes to move another step closer to a national berth after falling in the regional semifinals a year ago.

The Tritons posted a 14-3-2 record and return a handful of veteran players, but still have plenty of holes due to graduation.

“We have to be honest; we lost a lot of talent last season,” Taylor said. “However, so did the rest of our conference rivals.”

Abelson Estimable returns after scoring 16 goals a year ago, as does Desner Calixte (five goals, eight assists) and Juan Espinal (three goals, three assists).

“I hope our guys can use that experience (last year) and channel it in the right way this year,” Taylor said. “If so, we will have another successful season.”

Iowa Western is ranked sixth, while Marshalltown is 15th. The Tritons are receiving votes in the preseason poll. The Tigers won the regional title a year ago.

“I believe we compete in one of the toughest conferences in the country,” Taylor said. “The ICCAC’s strength was really on show last fall.”

In net, Fernando Cortes returns after starting all 17 games. He made 82 saves.

For the Triton women, they begin the season ranked 18th. Fellow conference foe Iowa Western is third.

Second-year head coach Christiane Lessa was expecting to have Vanessa Barcelleiro back for another season, but a new NJCAA rule forced her to move on a year early to AIB in Des Moines.

“It is obviously big losing Vanessa, but we have some other girls that will return in Rachel Advant, Julia Da Silva and Ebony Campbell that will give us experience,” said Lessa, who went 15-3 overall and 6-2 in the league last year.

Lessa also points to incoming players Rachel Bailey and Megan Schilling as those who can help fill the voids.

“We believe the blend of freshmen and sophomores will continue to help us make history here at Iowa Central,” she said.

Josephine Frigerio has also moved on after scoring a team-high 27 goals last year and 16 assists. Barcelleiro had 26 goals and 27 assists, while fellow sophomore Kami Paulsen scored 21 times.

Campbell, a keeper, started 16 games and made 68 saves. Avant had six goals and nine assists, last year, as well.

Former Fort Dodge players Greg Nordstrom and Andrew Sheker are both on the active roster. Sheker scored five goals for the Dodgers last year.

Taylor is assisted by Pablo Rodriguez and Jared Beauchamp, while Lessa’s assistant is Josh Neblock.