It didn't count in the win column, but Irvine Valley women's soccer coach Joe Supe was pretty pleased with what he saw in his team's first action of the 2013 season.
Irvine Valley dominated in scrimmage against Bethesda University last Wednesday week at home.
The Lasers scored eight goals.
"We showed a very good starting 11 (players)," Supe said. "The girls were communicating, passing the ball well and creating combinations and they were pressing the action and winning tackles, which was good to see. The real nice thing for me was that I got to sub in everyone and really, there was no drop off in the performance. Physically I thought they were good and their attitude was very positive."
Supe took over the program a year ago. And 2012 was a building year.
IVC finished with just a record of 2-15-3 overall.
But there were signs of improvement throughout the season. IVC lost five matches by just one goal, including a heart-breaking, 3-2 defeat late in the year to Norco after the Lasers were up, 2-0.
Irvine Valley was competitive in most contests.
A number of players who saw significant action last season return. Supe has also brought in a stellar freshman class.
Returners include defenders Wendy Rendon, Madisen Hammonds and Desirae Santana, midfielders Kelsi Chrzan, Kelly Cox and Ashly Romero, forward Yasmin Hart and goalie Emma Connelly.
Rendon was chosen first team all-Orange Empire Conference last year.
Key new additions include freshman forward Tiana Salazar (Dana Hills High), midfielders Zuleyka Ruiz (Segerstrom High), Samantha Mendoza and Kristen Ostler (Beckman High) and Kailey Ortiz (Woodbridge High), defenders Amanda George (Mater Dei High), Shantel Romero (Estancia High) and Emely Portillo (Tustin High) and goalie Shannon Duffy (Irvine High).
"This is a very good freshman class," Supe said. "Amanda is a solid center back, Emely is a very good communicator, Zuleyka can control the midfield and Tiana is going to create chances. She can be a very dangerous player. I've been happy with all of our freshmen players."
Other freshmen expected to contribute are midfielders Dailia Gonzalez (Tustin High), Belin Gonzalez (Backbay/Monte Vista High) and Rose Ramos (El Modena High) and defender/midfielder Celina Chang (Rosary High).
"I am excited about this season," said Supe, who received the Orange Empire Conference's sportsmanship award last season from his fellow coaches. "The work ethic has been tremendous from everybody. I think our fitness is going to be a big strength. The players are getting better and better every day. Right now we are looking pretty sharp."
Supe has also added two new assistant coaches. One is Jacqueline Turner, who starred at Santiago Canyon College and then Concordia University before graduating this past year. The other assistant is Peter Carey, who worked with Supe as an assistant on the Irvine Valley men's soccer team under head coach Martin McGrogan for three years before Supe took over the women's program.
"I couldn't do it without them," Supe said of Carey and Turner. "I've worked with and have a good relationship with Peter and Jacqueline has been tremendous in terms of staying right on top of the players."
Irvine Valley plays its first official match next Tuesday at Mt. San Jacinto at 4 p.m.
"We are ready for a real game," Supe said. "That match can be a benchmark for what we expect to do this season."