After a 0-2 start in the opening week of the season, the Huskies girls soccer team turned a corner and earned two shutout non-league wins starting with a 2-0 win at Grandview Tuesday, Sept. 17, and wrapping up with another 2-0 win over the Connell Eagles at home Thursday, Sept. 19. Head coach Bernie Garza said a lot to do with earning these wins was due to stout performances from defenders and freshman goalie Jenelle Garza. He said his defenders achieved their goal of disrupting Grandview's attackers, who had some impressive speed and shot accuracy, by basically getting in their way and not allowing any clean shots. "If you let them have a clean shot, they're going to put it somewhere in the box and they're going to score or they're going to force Jenelle to make an awkward save, so we just got in front of them," Garza said. "The defense and our goalie look to be the positive for these first couple games ... you have to have a good goalie and a good defense to win games." On the other side of the ball, Garza said Huskie attackers kept the pressure up and managed to score just enough goals when they needed them. One of those attacks came from junior forward Kimberly Garza, who took a shot about 10 minutes into the match and drew Grandview's goalie into committing a foul. Coach Garza gave the penalty kick opportunity to freshman Nikki Velasquez, who drained the shot in the bottom-left corner of the goal. Grandview put together at least one solid counterattack following Othello's first goal, but some more stubborn Huskies defense held them off to give them the 1-0 lead going into the half. Some injuries forced Garza to put in some substitutions, including Elena Mendoza, who went on to score on a ball rebounded away from Grandview's goal. "That was midway through the second half ... so we kind of cruised to the very end and they didn't really threaten," Garza said. Huskies waste little time getting on the board Later in the week, the host Huskies took an aggressive approach in the beginning of their match against Connell and another freshman, this time Kaylee Martinez, scored first in the ninth minute to give her team some early momentum in their 2-0 win. The shot wasn't very powerful, but it had just enough juice to get past the Connell keeper to secure the early lead and Garza said taking advantage of opportunities like these are crucial to getting wins. "You've got to shoot to create those opportunities and I think that was the turning point," he said. The match developed into a tug of war with both sides pushing the ball forward, but Garza said it was fortunate J. Garza had an answer for almost everything they sent their way. "They had some really nice shots," Garza said about Connell's attacks. "Jenelle was ready ... and she earned a second shutout in a row. For a freshman, that's really impressive." J. Garza picked up 10 saves in the match and with only a one point lead, Garza kept most of the starters in to preserve it. He said the team has had issues with playing the full 80 minutes but are now starting to handle it a bit better in week two. "We had some issues in the first couple of games with cramping up, soreness and weak legs, but in this game, they played through the whole game," he said. "The conditioning is working and kicking in." With league matches beginning this weekend, Garza saw some things he'd like the team to work on, with extra focus being placed on controlling the ball to set up coordinated passing attacks. "If you have the ball more than the other team, you're going to end up winning," he said. Late in the match, junior Brenda Gutierrez scored an insurance goal with a header off a crossing pass from Velasquez. After starting 2-2 last year, the Huskies suffered from a bit of a drop-off that led to them missing out on playoffs by one match. Garza said he and the team are committed to making sure that slump doesn't come back and that would come by keeping each game in perspective. "Mentally, we have to say 'we haven't done anything yet'," Garza said. The Huskies hosted Ellensburg Tuesday, Sept. 24, but results weren't available as of press time. This Saturday, Othello travels to Prosser to open league play at 10 a.m. The Mustangs are coming off some big wins and Garza said they're the team to beat in the CWAC.