With a new coach, Beth McNamara, and almost half the team comprised of new members, the varsity soccer team is facing the future.
Seven of the team’s 18 members are freshmen, many of whom played for McNamara when she coached the middle school team last year. The previous coach, David Collicut, stepped down after a decade of double duty coaching the team while also serving as Athletic Director.
The team faces tough competition in the Sunshine League that includes highly ranked rivals Marymount and Notre Dame. Players hope to make progress after a tough season last year that was marred by injuries.
McNamara said that she hopes the youth of the team, which also includes four sophomores, will help drive the team forward and push the older players.
“I do feel that having half of the team as freshmen and sophomores pushes the upper class players to work harder to keep a starting position.” said McNamara. “In practice I like to divide them up into teams based on class, and it gets very competitive.”
Freshman Alex ’11 agreed. “I think that there is a sense of competition among everyone because we are all very competitive athletes overall,” she said.
Older players understand that they have to perform to keep their positions.
“All positions are basically open,” said Alix ’11, who currently plays multiple positions.
“For those who play the same position on the team it is a bit competitive,” said goalie Leah ’10.
Both Alix and Leah are particularly familiar with the competition since their younger sisters Kerry ’13 and Emily ’13 are also on the team.
Gettings said that although there is competition within the team, it’s not personal and that the goal is for every player to improve her skills. “It’s a really friendly atmosphere,” she said.
Veteran members such as Waxman understand the important role of the younger players. “Without the freshman, there is no team,” she said.
Team camaraderie will come in handy as they face a challenging road ahead. Sunshine League rivals Notre Dame and Marymount are ranked 5 and 7, respectively, in the CIF-SS Div. 5. Marymount just won the early season Crossroads tournament. The team that they beat 5-1 in the final game, Malibu, beat Marlborough 8-0 in the tournament.
Overall the mustangs went 2-2, coming back from their loss against Malibu to finish with a 1-0 win over Village Christian.
Collicutt said that he wasn’t overly disappointed with the lopsided loss to Malibu. He said that the small field lent itself to high scoring teams and that early growing pains are expected.
“That’s what the tournament is all about,” he said. “For a team with so many new faces and a new coach, where they’re trying new things out, those kinds of losses are not unexpected.”
Either way, Collicutt says that the players still have time to grow as a team. “The jury’s still out. They’re finding their way,” he said.
The next test will be the Pacifica Tournament before the Sunshine League season begins after the team returns from winter break.
Article by Cecelia