South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Bayless girls soccer celebrates successful season

The Bayless girls’ soccer squad had a successful 2024 season, finishing 11-11 overall. It was one of the best seasons the Bronchos have had in recent memory.

“Overall, I see our season as a success,” Bayless coach Dave Pozzo said. “We finished .500 with an 11-11 record which exceeded our expectations. From a record standpoint, this was one of our most successful seasons in over a decade. I give all the credit to the girls. Several of the teams we beat were probably more talented, but we just out worked them and wanted it more.”

Leading the team this season were senior Milli Maloney and juniors Nadia Amghar and Kayla Randolph. Maloney went 8-6 in goal this season with five shutouts for Bayless. Randolph led the team with eight goals on the season, while Amghar was close behind with six.

“Nadia Anghar and Kayla Randolph were key to the success of our season,” Pozzo said. “Milli held down the goal while Kayla and Nadia ran the midfield. Milli had eight of our 11 wins with a combination of six shared or solo shutouts. Nadia finished the season with six goals and two assists and Kayla had eight goals and six assists.”

Freshman Emma Bolden also played a significant role for the Bronchos this season. The young defender had her hands full at times, but still enjoyed a successful first season on the varsity squad.

“Emma Bolden came in as a freshman this season and had an immediate impact,” Pozzo said. “She did an outstanding job playing on the back line and taking on the challenge of stopping the other team’s best players.”

Looking at some of the season highlights, Pozzo said his team was 6-2 in one-goal games this year.

“The girls showed grit and determination to be able to pull so many of these close games,” he said.

Looking to next season, Pozzo will have a solid core of returning players. Junior Leila Ahmic had four goals and one assist this season, and will return next season. Sophomore Deniz Sardaliyeva will also return after a five-goal season for the Bayless squad.

“Leila brings us a bit of technical ability while Deniz primarily relies on her athleticism,” he said. “If they continue to develop their other skills, they will have an even greater impact next year.”

As for the offseason, Pozzo said his main goal is to make sure his players are getting time on the field to improve.

“The main focus in the offseason is to just get the girls playing more, getting touches on the ball and becoming more comfortable on the field,” the Bayless coach said. “We were a young team with only seven juniors and seniors. Many of our girls did not play organized soccer before high school, so getting them more experience is essential.”

Along with playing time, Pozzo said the team will focus on key parts of the game, such as passing.

“We need to spend more time with the soccer ball to improve passing and finishing,” he said. “This was something we struggled with against stronger competition this year.”