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Lady Eagles face Arvin High in soccer final, seek No. 1 seed and title

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Captain Avery Jones, ’20, throws the ball to her teammates during a soccer game, Feb. 24.

Cleats laced up, shin guards on, and legs warmed up, ready to conquer the field. The freshly cut grass levels the field with the newly painted boundary lines ready to hold the game.

The varsity girls soccer team practices almost everyday after school, rain or shine. With a record of 9-0 in the East Sierra League this season, the Eagles are on their way to the Valley championship game at Golden Valley High School against Arvin High School, Feb. 22. The girls team made it to the Valley championship game last season as well, but lost to Rosamond High School, 1-0, as the final result.

The team battled two teams in playoff games which resulted in them taking the second seed this year. They defeated Orange Cove High School, 6-0, and Rosamond High School, 5-0. Leaving their opponents in the dust, they are ready to conquer their next rivals, No. 1 seed Arvin High School.

The team played at Clovis East High School for each playoff game to represent the home field of FC due to the rain this season. This decision was made because of the massive puddles in the middle of the field and the safety of the players.

Annabelle Messer | The Feather Online

Varsity girls soccer team defeated Rosamond High School, 5-0, at Clovis East High School, Feb. 19.

This will be assistant coach Morgan Smith’s second year coaching and second year going to the Valley championships. She shares what she expects from this upcoming playoff game and how the team has progressed throughout the season.

“We are expecting a tough game for our Valley game but I know that our girls are ready for it,” Smith said. “They have worked very hard to get to this point and we are confident going into the next game. This year the girls team has progressed tremendously. We had a lot of new girls this year and a very young team so coming into the season we weren’t sure how it would play out. Progressively the girls got better by working on skills and learning the best way to play as a team. We have a very young team but this team is very quick learners.”

The girls head coach, Matthew Markarian, continues to coach after 24 years and made it to the Valley Championships four times in his coaching career. Markarian coaches alongside his brother Garret Markarian and family friend Morgan Smith. All three coaches begin to prepare the team physically and mentally for 

In the following podcast, Annabelle Messer interviews captain Rylee Schwab on the upcoming Valley championship game.

Junior and goalie Kayden Marquez explains why she is excited to play in the upcoming Valley championship playoff game and what her favorite part of playing on the team is.

“I am so excited to be playing in the playoffs,” Marquez said. “It’s been a lot of hard work for the girls. We’ve been practicing for a long time dealing with injuries and getting better as a team, which has taken a lot of teamwork. I love the team we have this year, we all work together great and we’re a family.”

Losing five seniors last year and with seven freshman this year, the team dynamic changed in many ways. Positioning switched around and the coaches struggle to find the right spots for each player. Matthew Markarian shares the journey of finding the right positioning for each player.

“That process began last year,” Markarian said. “We are always looking at what is good for now and what is good for next year. We are also blessed to have coach Morgan and coach Garret. They are both amazing talent evaluators and teachers of the game. It is always a little tricky to find spots for everyone, but this team is so unselfish that every player is willing to do what is necessary to win games.”

Markarian believes despite losing five seniors last season the new girls are able to adjust into new spots.

Avery Jones | The Feather Online

Junior Kayla Vanderlinden strikes the ball during a league game, Feb. 15.

“Those five seniors will never be replaced but each of our new girls have put their own mark on this team,” Markarian continued. “They have all been called on at some point and have answered the bell when called upon. This team is truly special and will be long remembered at FC regardless of what the result of the final game is.”

Many FC students support their fellow classmates by traveling to sports game, such as senior Reese Brown. Brown shares why he is excited to watch the girls soccer team.

“It is super cool to see my friends get to play in back to back valley champs,” Brown said. “I’m going to try to go to the valley championship game. It depends on if I find a ride or not. I like watching FCS sports to support my friends that are playing in them and it’s a good way to get involved in sports at our school.”

Come out and support the Ladies Eagles at their Central Section Les Schwab CIF Division VI Valley championship game verses Arvin High School this Friday, Feb. 22 at Golden Valley High School, starting at 6 p.m.

For more articles check out COLUMN: Everyday Journalism or COLUMN: Serena Zhao shares American culture experience.

Annabelle Messer can be reached via email and Twitter.

Below is a slideshow of girls soccer preparing for Central Section CIF D-VI Valley championship, Feb. 22

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