After reaching the CCS Division Two quarterfinals, the girls varsity soccer team finished off its season with a 1-1 tie going into overtime and a 4-3 loss in the penalty kick round against Piedmont High School.
“It’s never fun to lose in penalty kicks, but I thought our last game we played really well,” senior and co-captain Kat Thomsen said. “I think it was the best game of the season. So even though we lost it, I was really happy ending the season on that game.”
Thomsen said by taking what they learned in practice and applying that on the field, the team reached its goal of playing in CCS and winning season games against rivals.
“When you’re on the field (in a sport) like soccer, there are no timeouts or anything like that,” Thomsen said. “It’s really about the players having to communicate in the middle of the situation, the middle of the game. And it’s really about the players bringing what they learned from practice into the game.”
Junior and center midfielder Payton Anderson said she and her teammates focused on strengthening communication and forming close bonds with each other throughout the season, something she thinks they succeeded at despite the challenges they faced at the beginning of the season.
“At the beginning of the season, Omicron was still a big issue,” Anderson said. “We did have team bonding activities, and we’d have pasta feeds, so we definitely bonded as a team at the beginning. But then because of Omicron, all those activities were shut down. So we tried to have team lunches at school, and we dressed up on a lot of the home game days to try and rally team spirit and support each other.”
Senior co-captain and forward Brighid Baker said staying motivated and focused was a challenge for the team, but it was something they pushed through together.
“We had practice every morning at 7 a.m., which is very tiring and hard to wake up for,” Baker said. “I go into practice being so tired and in the worst mood, and then as soon as we start practicing or start playing, everyone’s mood picks up, and you can really tell. We just start the day off a little bit better.”
Thomsen said she thinks the closeness of the team made the season especially successful.
“It’s hard in such a short amount of time to get everybody to speak the same language, (to) just play well together as a team,” Thomsen said. “That was a struggle at first, just because we have so many good players individually. But once we got to know each other better and we started playing more games, we started to really play as a team, and that’s when you win games.”