Girls soccer defeats San Clemente High School in second round of playoffs

Charlie Seymour

The girls soccer team defeated San Clemente High School 3-0 in the second round of CIF-SS Division I Playoffs at home on May 14. As the first seed position in the tournament, the team was given a bye for its first matchup, meaning Friday’s game was the squad’s first playoff competition. 

The squad’s first goal came in the first half off a cross from a corner by Alyssa Thompson ’23 that ended with an own goal. Soon after, goalkeeper Devon Carmel ’21 saved a penalty kick quickly followed by a precise pass to Natalie Barnouw ’21 from Ella Watkins ’22 to put the team up 2-0. Thompson went on to score the team’s third goal off a breakthrough ball from Daniela Quintero ’22 early into the second half. 

With a 12-0 overall record and a 6-0 Mission League record, girls soccer has yet to face a defeat this year. Thompson said the squad’s success is due to the team’s ability to work well together.  

“Our team works very well together, we know how to work off each other,” Thompson said. “The coaches come up with great solutions and instill in us our team identity which helps us a lot.”

Thompson also said each opponent plays with a different style, requiring a level of adaptability to the Wolverines’ approach to each game.

“[The team] takes our coaches’ game plan and applies it to the game,” Thompson said. “We had to work around [San Clemente] more and pass a little more than usual. All we needed to do was stay composed and draw [San Clemente] in so we could get balls in behind.”

As for their upcoming games in CIF-SS Division I Playoffs, Thompson said she believes the team can find success as long as the players continue to stay focused and shift to adapt to each opponent.

“We need to improve on being patient and not forcing it through the middle of the field,” Thompson said. “Teams are going to play really defensive mindedly and we just need to play around that. We have to stay composed and calm throughout the game, but also match their aggression in 50/50s and collectively.”

Girls soccer plays its third round of playoffs against Temecula Valley High School on May 18 at home.