Girls’ soccer rebuilds foundation

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Nathaniel Kauffman, Staff Reporter

They had beaten Oviedo three times before, but at that moment, nothing mattered; win and move on or lose and go home. This was a simple concept, but impossible to swallow in defeat. Last year’s top-ranked team walked off the soccer field in shock as their state title hopes were destroyed by a 2-1 loss to Oviedo.

“It was pretty crushing – it is one of those tough things we don’t like to talk about any more because it’s like a moment in our past that we weren’t proud of,” team captain and senior midfielder Sydney Schilling said. “Losing really opens your eyes as an athlete. It is important to lose every once in a while.”

This year they have pledged to be different, and it has been shown by the ten goals written in the locker room by the players. They say things like “win states” and “to dance.”

Dancing does not exactly sound like a serious thing or a way to improve, but it helps to lighten the mood and make the game more fun.

“It’s a Hagerty soccer thing. We have a dance party in the locker room, and our team dance is the “wop”,’ so it’s been a Hagerty tradition that we wop before every single home game,” Schilling said.

These goals were made when the team got together and made them in order to take the team to the next level. A focus of the goals was to start to take notice of the little things instead of just the big picture (a state championship). This year, players have already said practice is more serious and the attitude is focused.

This year will definitely be a challenge for the team. One of the biggest being filling in the holes left by last year’s seniors. Five starting seniors graduated, including Darbi Filliben, who plays for Mississippi State University, and Sam Collins, who plays for Rollins College. This left the team needing to fill five spots in the starting line up.

One way they have worked to fill those holes is with superstar junior forward Ru Mucherera, a commit to the University of North Carolina.

“I know a lot of people think since we lost all of our good seniors from last year that were not going to have a shot, but I honestly think that we can become better than being considered the underdog,”  Mucherera said. “We need to  work harder than we usually do and go that extra mile.”

The team’s record is 2-1-1, with the only loss to rival Oviedo, 3-4. Their wins include a 9-1 victory over Seminole and an 8-3 win over Winter Springs. The major contributors include Schilling, who leads the team with five goals, and senior forward Sierra Farrell, who has three.

One setback to the season is an injury to one of the team’s starting seniors, forward Alex Mastrobuono. She injured her foot in the game against Oviedo and will not be back for         three months.

“It’s hard to watch all the games and practices,” Mastrobuono said. “But knowing that I’ll be able to come back before districts or regionals it’s all worth it in the end.”

The team has high hopes despite the odds, but in order to achieve those they will need a couple things, one of which is teamwork.

“I think there is hope. If we work together as a team we can get what we want,” junior midfielder Savannah Courtney said. “In the end we will work our hardest and hopefully come out with a good outcome.”

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