The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Girls’ soccer looks to capture Mission League title

Printed with permission of Nicolas Monroe
Striker Kaia Santomarco-King ’26 rears up to deliver a ball. Only in her sophomore season, she has been crucial to the team’s success.

In their latest game, the girls’ soccer team won 2-1 against Marymount High School on Jan. 26. The team improved to an overall record of 11-4-3 and a league record of 6-1-1. As of Jan. 27, they have two remaining games against Flintridge Sacred Heart and Chaminade, teams that they have won and lost to, respectively.

This season, notable players include strikers Vicky Pugh ’25 and Kaia Santomarco-King ’26, who have led the team’s offense in scoring. Midfielders Gemma Ozturk ’25, Simone Puathasnanon ’26 and Madisyn Grant ’25, who has returned back from a long-term injury that put her out of her sophomore season, have also been crucial for the team.

Additionally, Pugh and Puathasnanon have been selected to the United States Youth National Team (USYNT) ID center, a preliminary tryout that will determine the future of the USYNT.

Head Coach Richard Simms said he is happy with the team’s progress throughout the season.

“I’ve been very pleased with our mentality and commitment,” Simms said. “The team is battling hard in every game and competing at a high level. We have been more focused on scoring off of set pieces and doing a better job defending them.”

Defender Ashle Reese ’25 said the team has been flexible with their game schematics, experimenting with different play styles and techniques.

“We have tried different formations and putting different players in different positions in order to figure out what can work and how we can be the most successful,” Reese said. “In the future, we will most likely continue to switch things around, so we’re not as easy of a team to guard against because we have so many different things we can do.”

Reese said the team has tried hard to regularly condition themselves for success.

“With the amount of games we have within this short amount of time, it’s really important to work hard in practice and make sure you stay game-ready,” Reese said. “It’s good to do preventative stuff like rolling out your legs and stretching regularly to be able to perform at high levels.”

Ozturk said she is particularly proud of the younger players in contributing to the team’s success.

“Our season is going well so far, we have only one loss and one tie,” Ozturk said. “We look to come out of the Mission League on top. Our underclassmen have played a huge role in our season, and I’m extremely impressed with their ability to step up.”

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