Young soccer team tries to regroup

Zach DiChiano

    Made up of six seniors, eight juniors, seven underclassmen and only five returning varsity players, the Cedar Park girls soccer team is young and inexperienced. However, the girls are confident that their chemistry and speed will lead the way to the playoffs.

     Last year, the team graduated 15 seniors including 9 starters leaving the girls a void to fill this year.  There were several problems off the field that deterred their success on the field. They had a lot of talented players but since they didn’t play together they could not advance past the first round of the playoffs.

     “Last year was like trying to dissolve rocks in water and this year is like dissolving sugar in water,” Hailey Forde, senior midfielder, said. “It’s easy and it’s sweet.”

     The girl’s team is different this year in that instead of having a few superstar players, the team has players who have different roles and bring different things to the table. They work in a collaborative effort as a team to win games.

     “Our goal is to make it in the top four spots in district,” Khaleah Francis, senior forward, said. “We want to get past the first round of the playoffs.”

      After a tough offseason that consisted of weightlifting, conditioning and running, the girls are at their best athletically and are determined to get back the district title that they won two years ago.

     “We ran, we worked a lot in the weight room, and every other day we would play soccer,” Hannah Fuller, sophomore forward, said.

     Conditioning is so important in the game of soccer. The girls play two 40 minute halves, which requires a lot of stamina. The Lady Timberwolves have been working on their conditioning in practice five days a week to get prepared for the heart of their district schedule. Along with building stamina, practices mainly consist of shooting drills and mini-games where the girls compete to better their individual skills.

     “All of our defenders graduated so our defensive line is inexperienced,” Francis said. “We are also a small team.”

     Even with the size disadvantages, the girls are still respected for their group speed and quickness. Most of the girls have quick and agile feet which enable them to get past some of the bigger, slower defenders.

     The Lady Timberwolves have six seniors leading the team, and the rest of the girls are learning and growing so as to live up to their potential as elite soccer players. Their new chemistry will be tested throughout the season, and once the playoffs roll around we’ll see if the girls truly have what it takes to be a successful soccer team.