Girls soccer team reflects on current season


Jina Jeon/Chronicle

Defender Dani Lynch ’23 runs across Ted Slavin Field during a home game against Bishop Alemany High School on Jan. 12, which the girls soccer team won 9-0. The team beat Chaminade High School at a game on Jan. 14 with a score of 4-1 and currently has a 5-1-4 overall record.

Charlie Seymour

The girls soccer team currently has a 5-1-4 overall record, winning games against Santa Ynez High School on Dec. 1, Downey High School on Dec. 15, Santiago Corona High School on Dec. 18, Alemany High School on Jan. 12 and Chaminade High School on Jan. 14. The team won the Division I California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Regional Championship with an 18-0 overall record in its 2020-2021 season.

Defender Madi Kim ’22 said the team needs to be more disciplined during its matches to overcome difficult opponents.

“The team definitely needs to work on its effort within games, because there will be teams that we encounter that are technically better than us, but if we out-hustle them, we will have a good chance of succeeding,” Kim said. “Especially if we work hard in front of our goal on defense and work hard to make attacks happen, we will find more success.”

The team is playing without Alyssa ’23 and Gisele ’24 Thompson this year as the sisters’ U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team schedule conflicts with the school season. Alyssa received the 2020-2021 National Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year award after leading the team to its undefeated season with 48 goals and 14 assists. Similarly, this year, the team was left to fill the 12 open positions caused by the graduating senior class of 2021. Kim said new players smoothly transitioned into their positions throughout the season.

“Losing our seniors last year created a lot of space for new players to step in,” Kim said. “We’re doing a good job learning to play together as a team and learning [which] players have what strengths and altering our game to fit them.”

Forward Sophia Haynes ’22 said the players struggle with communicating during matches.

“Though we’re getting closer and more comfortable with each other off the field, it’s still really quiet on the field a lot of the time, which needs to be improved if we want to succeed,” Haynes said. “We also lost a huge voice when Captain Natalie Philips ’21 graduated, and we are still trying to fill that gap.”

Kim said though the team has room for improvement, they are excited for the opportunity to reclaim its title this year as the defending CIF champions.

“While we’ve gotten off to a good start, we’re still a long way from making it to the championship,” Kim said. “Of course, the team ultimately wants to go all the way in the playoffs again.”

Girls Soccer Program Head Richard Simms said the team will prioritize the development of its players and its Mission League performance during the season.

“Our goal right now is to focus on the league season and try to win a Mission League championship,” Simms said. “We want to be playing our best soccer at the end of the season.”

Because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, the girls soccer program is facing scheduling changes. The school canceled the team’s winter break tournament in Texas and its Jan. 7 match against Immaculate Heart High School.

The team looks to improve its 2-0 league record with its match against Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Jan. 19 and Chaminade High School Jan. 21.