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Comet girls soccer team increases numbers for second season

Comet girls soccer team increases numbers for second season
Press photo by John Burbridge The Charles City girls soccer team practices at the College Grounds on Monday. Going into their second season, the Comet girls have nearly doubled their numbers from last year.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Whether lining a drill or establishing boundaries for scrimmages, soccer finds more uses for orange cones than a massive summer road construction project.

During a bitterly cold Monday afternoon at the College Grounds for the first practice after last week’s “spring break”, Comet girls coach Hayley Jo Fransen used them in the most fundamental way.

Showing where the pieces — sweeper, midfielder, striker … even goalkeeper — are positioned on the field.

“As you can probably see, we don’t have much experience,” Fransen said.

But the Comet girls have numbers, and for a fledgling program, that’s an opportune way to establish a foothold.

“The turnout has been great,” Fransen said. “We’re due to pick up some more once they complete their physicals, so we’re looking at around 27 which is twice as much as last season.”

Fransen was a standout defender for North Iowa Area Community College’s women’s soccer team.

In 2022, Fransen was hired as Charles City’s first girls soccer coach that also included a teaching position in the school district. Four years before, Charles City began its soccer program at the behest of growing student interest while hiring longtime local youth coach Brad McKenzie as the head coach.

The Comets functioned as a coed team during their formative seasons. Charles City fielded its first team exclusively for females last season, but only played a handful of junior varsity matches.

“We’re going to play junior varsity this season,” Fransen said. “We just don’t have enough seasoning yet to play varsity.

“But if we can keep our numbers in the 20s, we should be ready to play varsity next season.”

Charles City’s girls team is due to open its 10-match junior varsity season next Thursday (March 28) at New Hampton. The 4:15 p.m. match will precede the Comets-at-Chickasaws boys varsity opener.

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