The Irvine Valley women's soccer team is primed to have one of its better seasons in years.
The Lasers have a solid incoming class of players and a renewed spirit under new head coach Joe Supe.
Supe replaced Simon Davies, who stepped aside at the end of last season after eight years.
IVC finished with a record of 3-14-3 in 2011.
Supe knows about winning at IVC, having been an assistant coach for the Laser men's team for the last three seasons.
The Irvine Valley men's team had a record of 27-12-4 over the last two years with Supe's help.
He has also been coaching at Tustin United Soccer Club for 12 years and has been the head coach for the Tustin High boys program.
"I am excited," Supe said of taking over the IVC women's program. "The girls have been working really hard. They have been very dedicated. And I think it is going to pay off this season. Fitness and focus are real keys for us."
The Lasers opened the season with a scrimmage on Friday and play their first official match on Tuesday at MiraCosta. They host their first game on Sept. 4 against Mt. San Jacinto at 2 p.m.
Returning players include midfielders Amy Marchi and Ashly Romero, forwards Kayla McLaughlin and Coley Joyce and goalie Amanda Rashtian.
"We have some players back, but we are a pretty young team," Supe said. "The freshmen are going to play a lot and will have to contribute."
Supe is high on the freshmen group as a whole.
He said among those that have stood out in training so far include two local products - goalie Emma Connelly from Northwood High and forward Yasmin Hart from Irvine High. Hart was a second team all-Pacific Coast League player for Irvine last season, while Connelly started in goal and helped the Timberwolves make the CIF playoffs a year ago.
"Emma came out in the spring and will really help," Supe said. "She is a very good goalie and has a great attitude. Yasmin can be terrific. She will score some goals for us."
Among the other top newcomers that Supe expects to get big contributions from are forwards Zuleyma Guzman from Estancia and Ruriko Yoshimura from Irvine, defenders Madisen Hammonds from Corona, Desirae Santana from Corona and Mackenzie White from El Modena and midfielders Kelly Cox from El Dorado, Wendy Rendon from Estancia and Kelsi Chrzan from Trabuco Hills.
"Everything has gone even better than I could have imagined when I took over," Supe said. "My goal was to have a competitive team here from the start and I think we can do that. We play in a tough league and we want to be able to play with those teams."