New CR coach looking to add more players before season opener

College of the Redwoods Athletics – From left to right (top) Hannah Taylor, Sarah Hohman, Darly Diaz; (bottom) Sarah Carrick, Sativa Younge and Arlette Cruz.

By Ray Hamill — After being named the new head coach of the College of the Redwoods women’s soccer team barely a month ago, it has been a quick and challenging transition for Taylor McMillin.

The Corsairs began practice on Monday and are scheduled to open the new season in just 10 days.

“It’s been 100 percent challenging,” McMillin said with a smile. “But I took this coaching role knowing it would be challenging coming in late. But these challenges will hopefully make me a better coach.”

McMillin replaces Julio Ayala, who recently accepted the job as head coach of the men’s team at Contra Costa College, and she was named the new head coach on July 12.

The biggest challenge so far has been ensuring the CR women have enough players to field a team this fall and numbers have been an early concern.

McMillin has just six players at practice this week, with three more set to come out next week, and she is hoping to add more players when school begins on Monday.

“We have low numbers, which is unfortunate, so it’s been a slow start,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to working with the core group we have.”

McMillin, a 2012 Eureka High graduate who played at Cal Poly Humboldt, has been coaching the game locally since 2016 and is using her contacts to try and bring more players on board.

The local community college team offers an ideal opportunity for any local player who wants to try and continue their playing careers at the collegiate level.

Six of the nine players currently on the roster are returning from last season, including Fortuna standouts Arlette Cruz, Sarah Hohman and Darly Diaz, each of played a key role in the Huskies’ first-ever league championship in 2019.

A trio of Eureka players — Hannah Taylor, Sativa Younge and Sarah Carrick — are also on the roster and expected to play a big role.

Three freshmen will also play this fall, including Ferndale’s Gabby Riley and Arcata’s Bailey Cherms, as well as Emily Orozco from Idaho.

“They are enthusiastic,” McMillin said. “They seem super excited to start the year off and they’ve just been a great group to coach so far.

“They really bring energy they’re laying the foundation of what this program can be.”

Former Lassen College coach Dallas Moses will be an assistant coach with the team this fall and will split time assisting with both the CR women’s and men’s teams.

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