Early season practices shape attitude
After three years of championship losses to rival Templeton, the girls' soccer team is preparing for another run at the WSL title.
She took a deep breath and ran onto the field. This was the last playoff game of the season and she was placed in a new position. Suddenly, her body was slammed between two players and she flew into the air!
"I got stuck at forward, which I had never played before," Katrina Stevenson, '06, said. "I ended up getting slammed on either side of me by two enormous girls and I flew in the air and flipped! Later everyone told me they were rolling on the ground laughing."
While embarrassing moments on the field may have initiated freshmen players, fond memories have also been created.
"One of my favorite memories is beating Templeton for the Valley Championship on their home field my freshman year," Michelle Smith, '04, said. "It was exciting because Templeton is one of our biggest rivals."
Thrills from scoring winning goals and disappointments from missing blocks both contribute to the building of a strong team.
"Winning pumps you up," Stevenson said. "Although, it's very easy to get cocky and end up loosing. Like last year, we had won every game and then, the last game of the season before playoffs, we got really worked up and ended up loosing bad."
Daily practices and warm ups not only augment the players' skills but also extends friendships throughout the team.
"I enjoy practicing with the team everyday," Melissa Jimenez, '05, said. "Practicing helps our team to grow closer to each other. We also enhance our playing abilities and have better discernment of what to do on the field."
Although practices are not always enjoyed, players recognize their long-term necessity.
"I don't especially love it [practicing]," Smith said. "But I know that if we're going to be successful, we need to practice hard and push ourselves."
Hours of intense practices pay off as players face big name schools in the annual Garces Tournament on Dec. 19-20. The tournament provides a challenge for teams to compete in a pre-season test of their skills.
"My favorite part of soccer is the Garces Tournament," Smith said. "We get to play good teams, bond as a team, and have fun together. I love the competition and team atmosphere soccer provides."
While the team anticipates the upcoming Garces Tournament, head coach Robert Foshee has ambitious plans for the girls.
"I think we have a good chance at winning Valley," Foshee said. "But in order for that to be true, we need to place first in the league. Everything really depends on how hard the girls work. They all play together well and have great potential to be better. Also we have a lot of new, young players that play hard and tough."
The team will face big name opponents such as Central Valley Christian [CVC] and Templeton in their race for a Valley Championship.
"CVC and Templeton are our top rivals," Foshee said. "They are both tough teams and are big competition for us. We have had many split games with them; both teams have won."
The girl's next game will be against CVC on Dec. 10 at 3:30 at home.
For more information on girl's soccer, check out other articles at www.thefeather.com.
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