After falling short of reaching last season's quarterfinals playoff game in a double overtime loss to Cheney, Othello soccer coach Bernie Garza and the Huskies look forward to reaching - and surpassing - that achievement this season. The team has lost a decent number of players since last year but fortunately, still have a strong presence in the defensive positions, as well as a nice three-way battle for the starting goalkeeper position developing. The Huskies have lost four players from midfield positions, which Garza said is OK with him since other teams in the CWAC lost similar numbers and this will give him the chance to develop a strong group of players here. "So I lost all four midfielders, which is bad, but then it's going to be good because now I can develop a new midfield," Garza said. "But everything else - the two forwards and all the defense is back. That's a good thing." As it stands now, the CWAC is in a bit of a flux, Garza said. Last season, Toppenish gave the Huskies some trouble, but they're being forced to make roster changes as well, so it could be any team taking the league title this season. Obviously, Garza hopes it's his. "We lost a lot of people, but so did Toppenish, Ellensburg and the top teams - they lost a lot of key players," Garza said. "It's like a down year for the whole league and it just depends on who's going to - like the juniors and sophomores from last year - step it up this year. It's a good opportunity to prove they are just as good as the guys from last year." Along with new assistant coach Hector Alvarez, Garza and the Huskies began practice last week on Monday and held a scrimmage Friday. Their first game will be a jamboree in Highland on March 8 and then will play five nonleague matches before opening up the regular season March 26 for a home game against Prosser. Garza's hope is to develop the varsity squad to a high level before their first regular season match and work from there to take the lead in the CWAC. Last year, some tough losses hurt Othello's playoff chances and this season, Garza wants to try and lock up home field advantage. "The first thing is to do well in league," Garza said. "If you can win the games in league and be the No. 1 or 2 team in the league it sets you up for a good playoff run because it will give you home field advantage." Garza hopes to benefit from his strong defense featuring players like Hugo Martinez, Alec Alvarez, Matt Jones and Miguel Gonzalez to find the success he wants. "I'm going to ride (the defense) all season long," Garza said. "If we can score one, they won't score on us. It's just a matter of having them believe in that system." The first couple weeks will be a difficult test for the soccer team, but Garza is confident and said his players are excited to fight for the league championship.