Coming off of a championship win at the OC Winter Showcase, the girls’ varsity soccer team struggled in the National Elite Prep Showcase in Texas from Jan. 7 to Jan. 9. The squad lost against Hebron, Byron Nelson High School, and Coppell and tied Boyd High School.
“The Texas teams were more competitive than most of the Southern California teams,” goalie Lindsay Avant ’17 said. “We were playing out of our comfort zone and learning to deal with adversity. We also played some of our games really early in the morning and the temperature was much colder.”
The team, nationally ranked #69 by MaxPreps, has an overall record of 8-4-2, but they still hold a 1-0 mark in league. Although the team can’t improve on last season’s overall record of 15-3-2, the Wolverines can still surpass their 2015 CIF-SS postseason result, where they reached the round of 16. The showcase in Texas forced the squad to play at a higher level, preparing them for the Mission League season.
“Although on paper is looks as if the results in the National Elite Tournament were worse than expected, I think our team really came together in Texas,” defensive and midfield player Bridget Stokdyk ’18 said.
The squad is working to improve their concentration and scoring skills after the National Elite Prep Showcase. “Though we have a strong defensive game, the team will need to improve on pushing forwards towards the goal,” forward Paige Howard ’17 said.
“We’re great at keeping possession but we need to keep looking for ways to get behind the other team’s defense to the other team’s defense to be more successful.” Howard said.
Throughout the season, the team has been able to improve its passing skills and speed.
They are able to make quicker and better decisions on the field as its become closer as a team, but even better and even stronger bonds could help the team step up their game as the season goes on, Stokdyk said.
“Since the beginning of the season, our team has really been trying to work on our camaradery,” Stokdyk said. “Even though we lost a bunch of starting seniors last year, there have been some new freshman additions to the team, making it our goal to incorporate and guide them to be a part of this seasons success.”
They did, however, beat Oaks Christian, who are not their rivals, but the team they reserve the most ill feelings for.
Last year, the Wolverines lost a close game to the Lions 1-0, and this year they made that up by winning a 1-0 thriller, with a goal scored by Whitney Elson ’19.
The squad will go up against Chaminade on Feb. 3, They will be fighting to defend both of their 3-0 wins against the Eagles that they fought for last seaon.
“I’m looking forward to the Chaminade home game a lot, because it’s always been a battle between us and we always get a crowd for the game at home, so it’s a fun atmosphere,” Howard said.