It took all of one game for the Grain Valley girls soccer team to reach uncharted territory this season.

It took all of one game for the Grain Valley girls soccer team to reach uncharted territory this season.

Last week, the fifth-year program opened the season by downing Warrensburg 2-0 for the first time. The Eagles started their first four seasons 0-1, but improved to 2-0 last Friday as they bested Fort Osage 4-0.

Against Warrensburg, Nathalia Barr and Reighan Childers notched second-half goals to lift Grain Valley.

“I joked around with (Warrensburg’s) coach about it after,” Eagles coach Aleana Balistreri said. “Our very first year, they beat us 9-0, which at that time made sense because we were a brand-new program. Going from that, we’ve done better ever year but hadn’t been able to get past them.”

The next day, Balistreri didn’t take much time to congratulate her squad. She pushed them through an especially physical practice to send the message that there’s no room for complacency. Grain Valley’s playing a beefed up schedule that includes games against Notre Dame de Sion and Blue Springs. Balistreri said her players must constantly have their guards up to survive their difficult slate.

“They were definitely feeling confident,” she said. “But I was trying to show them that they can’t let it go to their head because it was just the first game and we have a more difficult schedule. Anything could happen in any game.”

ATTACKING PATS: Don’t expect the Truman girls soccer team to sit back and relax this season.

Patriots coach Jared Byrne is mixing in several newcomers to his varsity roster, but there’s also a solid core of experienced veterans returning. Of those players back, many of them play on the offensive half of the field, including seniors Amber Young and Sandra Chiles – two of the best scorers from last year’s squad.

“We have some girls that can finish this year,” Byrne said. “I think we’ve kind of struggled with that in the past. We have a good core group in back as well, but our focus this year will be really trying to attack as much as possible and not be defensive minded.”

DEFENDING CHAMP: It’s going to be hard for Fort Osage junior Asia Cole to top her accomplishments from her sophomore track and field campaign.

Cole wrapped up last season by bagging Class 4 state championships in the shot put and discus. As Cole sets out to defend those crowns, Fort coach J.D. Snead says she’s looking stronger than ever.

“She actually is stronger and more agile,” Snead said. “She’s a year older as an athlete, and just the experience will make a big difference for her. She knows she’s the thrower everyone’s out to beat and has come in with a great attitude and work ethic.”

Of course, most of that work’s been limited to indoor drills with all the snow that has hit the area this month. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, according to Snead. He said being trapped inside has forced all his throwers to pay more attention to technique than they normally would. That could bring a nice reward later in the season.

“I think the kids are more likely to accept doing drills because they don’t have any other choice,” Snead said. “They’re more likely to realize this is the best option and it forces them to look more at the technical side.”

Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC