Thompson sisters receive Cal-Hi Sports player of the year awards


Printed with permission of Alyssa Thompson

Holding the CIF SoCal State Championship trophy, the Thompson sisters pose for a photo after handling Pacifica High School 6-1

Leo Saperstein

Sisters Alyssa Thompson ’23 and Gisele Thompson ’24 were named state players of the year by Cal-Hi Sports after leading the girls soccer team to an 18-0 overall record during the 2020-2021 season.

Alyssa Thompson accepted the Sophomore of the Year award, and Gisele Thompson received the Freshman of the Year award. Alyssa Thompson, who plays striker, said she respects the talent of all the other athletes that were in consideration for the achievement. 

“There were so many other amazing girls that could have gotten this, and I’m so happy it was me,” Alyssa Thompson said. “It is such an honor to be named Sophomore Player of the Year.”

Thanks to the motivation of her coaching staff, Alyssa Thompson said she became an even stronger player and teammate in the past year.

“The coaching staff at Harvard-Westlake is amazing,” Alyssa Thompson said. “They have pushed me to become a better player. Their game plans and tactical plays really help our team’s success. I always feel supported by them.”

As she often plays alongside her younger sister, Alyssa Thompson said she has enjoyed the opportunity to engage with her on the field.

“She works so hard and is so determined in anything she does,” Alyssa Thompson said. “It was so fun playing with Gisele. She is just an amazing player, so it makes playing with her easy. Her IQ on and off the ball is very high-level.”

Gisele Thompson said she has learned a lot from playing with her sister, whom she sees as a strong teammate and a leader of the girls soccer team.

“[Alyssa and I] play so well together, and I feel like her hard work rubs off on everyone else,” Gisele Thompson said. “Just seeing everything that she has accomplished only this year has pushed me to want to work harder and just be the best player I can be.”

Girls Soccer Program Head Richard Simms, who has known the Thompsons since before they went to the school, said he has witnessed the sisters’ relationship compliment their playing styles.

“There is no doubt they have extra special chemistry as sisters,” Simms said. “Alyssa knows all she has to do is get open and Gisele will find her. Gisele as the playmaker and Alyssa as the finisher is a deadly combination.”

As well as their renown as players, Simms said he wants the Thompson sisters to be recognized for their capabilities as teammates.

“I am not getting caught up in what the future may hold for them.” Simms said. “I hope that their incredible talent doesn’t overshadow what amazing teammates they are. They are passionate about helping the team do well and are not solely motivated by their own achievements. They are both a pleasure to coach, and they are vibrant members of the [school] community.”