Although Dunlavey hasn’t coached the Lady Devils before, he did coach the GCHS boys team in the spring of 2014. A handful of players from the boys team are helping out the Lady Devils this fall as managers.
Dunlavey is also being joined by a new assistant coach, Jamie Hoover, who is herself a former NCAA Division I level college soccer player.
“We are very excited to start this new season,” Dunlavey said. “Our focus for the beginning of our training is fitness and technical skills. The players have responded well, working hard especially even when they are extremely tired from our strenuous conditioning drills.”
“The team has already established a few goals focusing on teamwork and a hard work ethic,” Dunlavey added.
The Lady Devils’ current roster features approximately 20 athletes, including a “strong core” of returning starters, Dunlavey said. Among the key returning players are seniors Caitlin Pfnister and Abbie Camps; juniors Hannah Rice, Skyla Sheldon, and Taitum Cook; and sophomores Heather Sweeney, Megan Pfnister, and Ellie Kelly.
Other seniors on the squad include Cheyenne Shumway, Benni Shumway, and Zhanna Rice.
Camps, Rice, Caitlin Pfnister, and junior Kwincey Wells were voted in as team captains following Monday morning’s practice on Aug. 11.
In addition, several younger players, including some who Dunlavey has coached on youth traveling teams in recent years, are also expected to vie for varsity playing time.
Last year, the Lady Devils finished 8-4 overall, winning their first-ever playoff game vs. Maeser Preparatory Academy by the score of 1-0 in the quarter-finals last October.
The Lady Devils’ first game of the new season will be a non-region match against Maeser Prep on Tuesday, Aug. 26 in Lindon, Utah. Grand’s first scheduled home game is a region contest against Gunnison on Sept. 16.
“We have a unique home schedule in which all five of home games are in a row,” Dunlavey said, adding that the five home games all fall within a two-week period between Sept. 16 and Sept. 30.