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The Lady Bulldog soccer team kicked off its 2015 season Friday and Saturday at the Alien City Invitational in Roswell, going 1-2 against a quality string of competition.

And while coming up short of fifth place in penalty kicks is a frustrating end to a tournament for any team, head coach Tim Trentham was pleased with the way his youthful athletes consistently fought – a sign of positive things to come.

“We’re very young,” Trentham said Saturday. “A very new squad, more so than I’ve probably ever had. We graduated seven seniors last year with six of them being starters and also had a girl who was a starter last year not return. So we expected to be a little rough at the beginning, but I’m pleased with where we ended up.”

The Artesia girls came up a goal short of Valencia in their opener Friday afternoon, 3-2, battling back from a 3-0 deficit at the half with goals from Raina Wesson and Rebecca Gutierrez.

Saturday morning, the Lady ‘Dogs posted a decisive victory over Portales, 6-1, with Elisa Cardenas contributing a pair of goals to help see Artesia to the consolation final. There, they headed into overtime tied 1-all with Silver City. Neither squad was able to break the deadlock in two 10-minute, sudden-death sessions, forcing penalty kicks, where the Lady Colts prevailed for a 2-1 final.

“Even though we came out of the tournament 1-2, our first loss was only by a goal and the second in PKs,” said Trentham.

“Our win was by five, so as far as goal differential, we’re looking pretty good. We can score. We just have to finish in the games that are close, and we’ll get to that point.

“We’re better off than I thought we were going to be this early I the season. We’re young, but we have talent. We just have to be able to develop the chemistry and learn how to work off of one another.”

The Lady ‘Dogs will host their home opener Thursday at 5 p.m. against Ruidoso at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex, and Trentham hopes to see his team continue to build on the lessons learned this weekend.

“We understand it’s going to be a learning experience for our coaches and players alike,” Trentham said. “We’re going to spend some time really trying to figure this group out, what works and what doesn’t, and when we do, I think we’re going to have a really strong club moving forward.”