Photo by Vasi Bjeletich
The varsity girls soccer team advanced to playoffs and the team is beyond excited. With a 11-2 district record, the team finished third in district behind Boerne Champion and Alamo Heights. Alongside their success, challenges arose such as losing multiple players to injury, but the team remained close and persevered.
Sophomore varsity player Emma Jones said that the team was determined to make it to playoffs.
“We’ve been working hard to make it to playoffs, and we held second place for most of the season,” Jones said. “It was almost a relief that we were finally there, but we all know we still have to focus on the games ahead.”
Their first round matchup out of Austin was McCallum on Thursday, March 29 at Burger stadium in Sunset Valley. Due to injuries and the post season, Head Coach Bailee Perrine called up JV players to the varsity squad.
“When I found out we made it to playoffs, I was excited because I know how important it is to me and the team to get to state and nervous because I would be joining and playing with a new team who I hadn’t played with since the 2017 playoff season,” junior Hallie Woodard, JV and varsity player, said.
This season, JV beat Boerne Champion, who varsity lost to in their third playoff game last season. Woodard said that playing Boerne Champion was the most challenging game of the season.
“Coming back and beating them during our conference season was really important to us,” Woodard said.
Junior Samantha Foster adds that the team wanted to beat first place Boerne Champion really badly but had to settle for a 1-1 tie in their second meeting.
“We had to focus on overcoming the mental challenge of losing the playoff game against them,” Foster said.
Foster adds that the team feels very excited for the advancement to playoffs.
“Making the playoffs for the varsity for the second year in the row was a huge accomplishment,” Foster said.
Foster says she was overjoyed when the team made it to playoffs. She is also a varsity and JV player, and she said this was her third and most successful year in the program.
“The team really connected off of the field and that allowed us to work more as a team on the field. The varsity team I believe is better at connecting rather than relying on individual people,” Foster said.
Woodard agreed with Foster over the fact that the team is tight-knit and has a strong team dynamic.
“I think this year, we really came together and worked as a team,” Woodard said. “Our passing and connections on the field were evident on the field.”
While playing on JV, Woodard said that the team had to be flexible.
“We were able to connect passes, change formations when needed, and work within our zones very easily,” Woodard said. “If we were up 6- or 7-0, our coach would give us areas on the field that we were allowed to play. From there, we had to keep possession, and even with our limits, we were able to very easily.”
Jones said that she believed the team’s success was due to maintaining a hard work ethic while also having fun.
“We take soccer seriously because it’s the sport we love, but it’s important for us to enjoy the game,” Jones said. “I’ve found that we play better in those situations.”
Jones adds that something that sets this season apart from others is the connection between both JV and varsity.
“I attribute my success to my team,” Jones said. “We’ve grown so close that we really are a family. We’re here for each other. We play for each other. Also, I want to add how proud I am of the girls and how hard they have worked.”
Written By Camryn Horst