From the girls’ varsity soccer sidelines, Head Coach Richard Simms is constantly repeating, “Next play, next play, next play.”
It’s that focus on possible future successes, instead of past failures, that keeps the inspiration high and the players driven no matter what happens.
Coming off of last year’s undefeated season, girls’ varsity soccer will use this motivation to create a good reputation and work ethic on and off the field, emphasizing character development throughout the season.
“Our program is about hard work, being tough and not making excuses,” Simms said. “We will run hard on offense, chase hard on defense and bring it every day.”
With multiple new freshmen on the team this season, many will be expected to perform early in the season, Simms said.
The first goal of the season was scored not by an experienced senior, but by freshman starter Annabelle Heisel ’19. Goalie Lindsay Avant ’17 credits much of the freshman success to the fact that a large portion of them play club together, which not only strengthens and further refines their skills outside of weekly in-school practices, but also strengthens their bond and connection when on the field.
“Both the new freshman and the returning players are really good with possession [of the ball],” forward Paige Howard ’17 said. “We definitely need to work on going forward and at the goal because we have a great offense, but we just need to find that connection.”
In the preseason, the Wolverines matched up against Oaks Christian, a historically exciting matchup on Dec. 8, seeking revenge for their 1-0 loss to the squad last season. The Wolverines won 1-0 this season.
“They’ve always been our rivals and they beat us last year, but this year we played them at home, so it was kind of a revenge match,” Howard said. “We’re really excited by that.”