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Girls and boys soccer finish season as league champions

This is the first article in the new series entitled “Sports Records’’. Follow The Feather for more articles in the series as they are published.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Captain Alex Rurik, ’19, retrieves the ball and searched for a pass to his teammates, Jan. 19.

When the cleat and ball make contact, player’s stamina rises as they compete to surpass the records and legacies left before them. Moving into the East Sierra League for the first time, the boys and girls soccer teams competed to earn the Valley Champions title.

The boys soccer team welcomed their new coach, Ramon Martin Del Campo, after previous coaches Garrett and Matthew Markarian transferred to coach the girls team. The boys team headed into their season with their new coach, hoping to redeem themselves from a 0-10 record last league season.

The team ended their league with a 8-1 record and became East Sierra League champions, which has not happened since 1991. They advanced to playoffs with the seventh seed, hosting a home playoff game against Frazier Mountain High School. After a long battle, the team headed to the next round of playoffs defeating Frazier Mountain 4-1. The team then travelled to Exeter High School, where they were defeated 4-1 and were knocked out of playoffs in the quarterfinals.

Three current players broke records in their season, senior Alex Rurik and sophomores Jacob Hyatt and Andrew RiekerSophomore Jacob Hyatt talks about his excitement for earning a record and how he hopes to improve his soccer skills in the future.

“I was shocked when I first found out,” Hyatt said. “I think always going to practice and putting myself out there on the field helped me achieve this. Focusing when we did the finishing drills changed my shot and helped me put more in the back of the net. My favorite thing about playing soccer at FCS is the team around me and Coach Ramon has been a big benefit to the program. I plan to improve through practicing over the summer and playing pickup ball. Increasing my touches on the ball will enable me to have more control and finesse in the game.”

The girls soccer team began their season ready to earn the Valley Champions title after earning the runner up spot last season. Returning coach Matthew Markarian and his brother Garrett Markarian planned to train the girls to redeem themselves from last years defeat, especially after realizing the team consisted of no seniors. 

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Captain Annabelle Messer fights to win the ball at a home game against Riverdale, Feb 15.

After ending their preseason with a 6-5 record, the team destroyed their league, ending with a 9-0 record. They became the East Sierra League champions which has not happened since 2005 and proceeded to playoffs with the No. 2 seed.

The top two teams were gifted with a bye for their first round of playoffs which meant the girls team had more time to practice and prepare for their first playoff game. Heading straight into the quarterfinals, the team hosted a “home” game at Clovis East due to the FC field condition. They played and defeated the seventh seed, Orange Cove High School, and advanced to the semifinals where they faced Rosamond High School.

Rosamond received No. 3 seed and traveled to Clovis East looking for another victory over the girls team after their valley championship win last season. The girls team ended up defeating Rosamond 5-0, kicking them out of playoffs and heading straight to the valley championship game for the second year in a row.

The girls team laced up their cleats and gave hard work and dedication into their practices to try earn the Valley Champions title. The day came where they packed their stuff and traveled all the way to Golden Valley High School to take on the No. 1 seed, Arvin High School. The girls team fought long and hard but ended up receiving another runner up plaque after losing to Arvin 4-2 in overtime.

Throughout the long season, two players broke records in their season, junior Annabelle Messer and sophomore Rylee Schwab. The following infographics shows records from girls and boys soccer since 2004. 

Sports Records: Soccer by Megan LeBlanc

Alongs with assisting the most goals, Rylee Schwab, ’21, was also awarded “Player of the Week” by MaxPreps two weeks in a row. This award is given to one girl player across the nation who gains the most points during a week. Points are given to players when they either scored a goal (2 points) or have an assist (1 point). With Schwab scoring 61 goals and assisting 41 times, MaxPreps awarded her the player of the week twice during her season.

Another key player on the girls soccer team was midfielder Annabelle Messer, ’20. Messer not only broke the record for most assists as a midfielder, she also broke the record for most goals.

In the following podcast, Megan LeBlanc speaks with Annabelle Messer as she explains her first reaction to finding out she held a record and what she did to reach that achievement.

This author received all information and statistics on the MaxPreps website. If any data needs to be changed, just leave a comment and the author of this article will fix it.

This is the first article in the new series entitled “Sports Records’’. Follow The Feather for the next article in this series entitled Sports Records: Basketball.

For more articles read Scholastic Journalism Week come to a close and Student voices in private schools.

Megan LeBlanc can be reached via Twitter and via email.

Below is a slideshow of girls and boys soccer season.

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