WASHINGTON - The Shepaug High School girls soccer team has a lot of holes to fill, and not a lot of experienced players to do it, but so far this season, the young Spartans are progressing each time out.

Shepaug opened the season with a tough 6-0 loss at Nonnewaug and then dropped a 3-1 decision to Terryville. Shepaug battled Thomaston to a 0-0 draw last week and were shceduled to travel to Wamogo earlier this week.

Gone are goal scorer Caroline Kelly and goalkeeper Sam Moravsky among others, and in their place are a young and talented group of players still finding themselves at the varsity level.

“We are looking at a really young team this year,” said Shepaug coach Tara Flaherty. They are very skilled and that bodes well for the future.”

Of the 31 players in the soccer program, 20 are freshmen or sophomores. With only three seniors on the varsity roster that means a number of young players are contributing on the varsity level.

There are even enough young players in the program to field a JV team for the second consecutive season, something paramount in building a program. Having talented young players is a good thing for the future of the program but also a tough thing if you are looking for immediate success. Especially considering the season opener was against one of the Berkshire League favorites.

“We are going through a little bit of growing pains this season and learning to adjust to the varsity game,,” Flaherty said. “We have lots of young kids that are stepping up into pretty big roles.”

With such a young program, leadership is crucial and the Spartans are getting it from seniors Noelia Aguirre, Maddie Gorra and Samantha Patrick, both on the field and off.

“The senior captains that we do have are doing a great job making sure everyone is included,” Flaherty said. “It goes beyond the field too. they make sure the younger players are making that adjustment to high school, doing well in their classes and making sure they feel comfortable.”

Flaherty is hoping the young Spartans find their scoring touch sooner rather than later but she has been pleased with the steps the team has taken forward each time out.

“I have seen improvement every game that we play. We want to learn something in every gam,e that we play and improve every game that we play as well,” Flaherty said. “The girls are staying positive and that is something we will need to do throughout the season.

“If we do that and keep working we will see results. We have a great group of girls and this team is going to be quite a bit different and improved in the second half of the season if they keep at it.”