Girls soccer beats Santa Ynez High School in first game of the season

Leo Saperstein

The girls soccer team defeated Santa Ynez High School 3-2 in its first game of the season Dec. 1. The squad finished last season 18-0 and beat Pacifica High School to become the 2021 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Regional Champions.

In the first half against Santa Ynez High School, the team scored once and held the opposing offense to no goals. Both teams scored twice in the second half. The squad was led by Victoria Pugh ’25 with two goals and Sophia Haynes ’22, who scored once. 

Defender Dani Lynch ’23 said winning the first game of the season will allow the team to develop further during the season.

“It was nice to start with the win,” Lynch. “We did a lot of things well, and we are prepared to keep working toward a successful season and build from this game.”

Girls Soccer Program Head Richard Simms said the team’s preparedness and offseason work helped foster strong team play.

“It was really good to see how strong the team chemistry was considering how many new players are on the team and the fact we had a significant number of players out,” Simms said. “I think it’s a testament to the strong senior leadership the team has and how well they’ve supported our younger players throughout the offseason.”

For the rest of the season, Simms said he plans to prioritize fostering a healthy team environment and finding success in that way.

“Our goals are never focused on the results of the games,” Simms said. “My job is to encourage the players to express themselves on the field and enjoy what they’re doing. We have an incredibly positive environment, and I’m extremely excited for the season. The sky is the limit for this team.”

Defender Ella Watkins ’22 said several factors contributed to the team’s win, such as the team’s cohesive offensive attack and energy.

“For a newly formed team, I thought we had insane chemistry in the game, which helped us connect passes and keep the ball in their half for a good portion of the game,” Watkins said. “I think our front line, which consisted of amazing freshmen and some seniors, had such an impact on our game. There is an immense amount of talent on our team, and I think that mixed with our excitement for the season led to such positive energy on the field.”

The team’s next game is against Oaks Christian School on Dec. 2, and it will play the first league game of the season against Immaculate Heart High School on Jan. 7.