Virgin Valley girls soccer coach Bob Snell opens his 19th season coaching Bulldog soccer with his usual pessimistic outlook on the soccer Dawgs upcoming season.

“I always schedule a tough preseason to get my girls ready for league play,” he said. “A lot of schools don’t have football programs but play soccer. Facing Tech two times a year is a tough hurdle to overcome and now Moapa Valley’s program is on the rise. “There’s a new kid on the block, Somerset Academy- Sky Pointe, who could be the dark horse in our League. Of course you can’t look by anyone when you have Chaparral, Del Sol and Boulder City twice during Sunrise League play.”

As a matter of note, Snell’s girls have gone 8-1-1 and 11-1-2 the past two seasons.

“We open the season on Aug. 25 in our annual ‘Mesquite Cup’ against 4A Bonanza,” he said. “We have all of last year’s teams returning, Bonanza, Clark, Moapa Valley, Cheyenne, Pahrump Valley, Desert Oasis, Las Vegas and Virgin Valley. Desert Oasis is the returning champion. I think we can fly under the radar because of the loss of the school’s scoring record holder Abbie Barnum. Other schools may be underestimating us. We may start slow but finish strong.”

The Lady Dawgs will count on senior Kallie Graves and sophomore striker Ally Wright to continue where Barnum left off. Wright had 10 goals and Graves finished with 7.

Other starters returning are, Maddy Cheney, Kari Wakefield, Aleiandra Camacho and Taylor Waite.

“Alison Cooke will get first crack at the goal keepers position,” Snell said. “We have a good freshman class coming in but using them depends on overall turnout.”

The Bulldogs open Cup play Friday, Aug. 25, at 5 p.m. The Lady Dawgs will continue bracket play Saturday before facing Eldorado on Monday, Aug. 28, to continue pre-season play.