Girls' soccer seeks return to Districts
Updated: Oct 5
Charles Robbins l Sports Editor
One of the more successful sports teams in the 2021-22 school year was girls’ soccer, who went 9-7-1 and earned a spot in district playoffs. Currently, they are doing even better than last year as they are sitting at 8-4 and ranked eighth in the district rankings.
Maybe the biggest key to the team’s improvement this year has been senior Lily Young, who is the team’s leading scorer. Young had to sit out last year’s season due to suffering an ACL tear in her right knee. In her first game back this season, she went on a tear and scored four goals and an assist as well as being named the Lebanon Federal Credit Union Athlete of the Week.
“It feels great to be back on the field with my teammates,” said Young. “This season has been going really well so far, for both myself and the team as a whole. We are sitting in a good spot for districts and I’m glad I’m able to play and help them get there.”
Before having an ACL tear in her right knee, Young had previously suffered two ACL tears in her left knee. It is difficult for people to recover from one ACL tear, never mind three.
“It was really hard at times to stay positive and not give up when I did have to go through so much adversity,” said Young. “But I love playing and it’s been my goal to play in college since I was little, so I just focused on that and kept working.”
Despite being the team’s leading scorer, it’s not a one-man-show on the soccer team; Young is surrounded by a very talented senior and junior class of soccer players.
“My team has a lot of good players and we all work really well together,” said Young. “We encourage each other all the time, from the field and from the bench, so that really helps.”
Other seniors on the team besides Young include Alyssa Vandett, Abrielle Miller, Abby Boyle, Emilee Walborn, Stella Ludwig, Maria Skulski and Myah Wright. Eight different seniors, but for all eight, the team goal remains the same; make it to districts and clinch home-field advantage.
“The goal is to make it to districts and to make it farther than we did last year,” said Boyle. “I’d like to play at home this year because if you get seeded higher you get to play at home.”
This is a sentiment shared by all the players. The top sixteen teams make districts. Last year, the team made districts as a fifteen seed and had to travel to number two seed Wilson, where they lost a heartbreaker in overtime.
This year, they believe home-field advantage can be enough to advance them past the first round. It is fair to say that the team has gotten to a good start, as they are seeded number eight which would be enough for a home game, but for some that is not enough.
“Right now I would say that we need to work a little harder and improve because so far, we’ve played three teams from our section and we lost all three, so I feel like we definitely need to improve on that,” said Boyle. “We definitely need to win our next games in the teams in our section.”
Although Boyle’s competitiveness and hunger are admirable, the accuracy of her stats are not, as the girls are actually 2-3 against teams from their section, not 0-3 like she claims. Nevertheless, a winning record in the section would greatly help the team reach their goals.
The players on the team have known each other for years which makes playing with each other much easier. At the same time, it makes it hard for this to be the last year that the seniors get to have together; they have grown up playing for the same club teams, playing on the same middle school teams and now the same high school team for four years. The fact that the season is more than halfway over is a fact that is hard to believe for some players.
“I’m gonna miss my teammates who I have known for what seems like forever,” said Wright. “And even though this sounds simple I’m gonna really miss the bus rides back from away games, a lot of times those were the most fun.”
Before last season it had been five years since the girls’ soccer team qualified for any form of postseason play, it is clear that the senior class will be remembered as the group that brought the girls soccer team back to relevancy. As well as that though, they also hope to pass down other things to the underclassmen.
“I hope we pass down good leadership qualities,” said Vandett. “Speaking for all of us I think we also want to pass down a good spirit and tradition to the future of the program and future teams. And as a class, we want to leave our mark on the program.”