In a match against Western Sierra on April 19, junior Natalie Brown scuffles with a defensive player.

Kevin Huang
In a match against Western Sierra on April 19, junior Natalie Brown scuffles with a defensive player.

An 0-2 loss to Cristo Rey on April 21 marred what started as a resurgent season for the girls’ soccer team, due to a large number of talented freshmen and a new intensity. 

The team had no subs for the game because many players were setting up for Open House. 

However, “Impressive!” was the first word coach George Champayne said to the girls after their April 19 game against Western Sierra.

After winning their first two games, they tied Western Sierra – the number-one team in the league for four years – 2-2.

“This season is not even comparable to last season,” Champayne said.

“It’s the most solid team I’ve had in 10 years.”

Freshmen Lia Kaufman and Abby LaComb, who play competitive soccer outside of school, are both starters. 

Kaufman has scored seven of the team’s 14 goals, and LaComb has scored four.

Freshman Abby LaComb (20) tries to break away from a Wolf.

Adam Ketchum
Freshman Abby LaComb (20) tries to break away from a Wolf.

The team also has many skilled sophomores and returning players, according to Champayne.

“We now have four, five, six girls that actually know the game,” he said.

“It used to be I put all the pressure on one or two players.

“Now we are winning as a team.”

Champayne said he used to rely on junior Natalie Brown to hold up the team.

“Now it takes a full 16 or 17 players to win,” Champayne said.

The girls all work well together like a family, which is noticeable on the field.

“Everyone works well together on the field,” Kaufman said.

“We also have great shots,” freshman Sophie Naylor said.

The team also has a new intensity.

“People are actually showing up to practice, which was rare in the past,” senior Madison Judd said.

The whole team is energized to make it to the playoffs.

Even when the Cavs are struggling, they manage to pull through.

Freshman starter Micaela Chen (24) charges a player. In the third quarter, junior Avi Bhullar (left) pushes the ball down field.

Kevin Huang
Freshman starter Micaela Chen (24) charges a player. In the third quarter, junior Avi Bhullar (left) pushes the ball down field.

In the second game of the season against Buckingham Charter, they were down by two goals at halftime but came back to win, 5-4.

“A lot of players have stepped up this year,” Champayne said.

“They really helped us in the Buckingham game as we were missing five or six players.”

Champayne said that Naylor and seniors Elinor Hilton and Julia Owaidat have all improved their game.

In the game against Buckingham, the girls were shaking off their Spring Break rust, which was  challenging.

They struggled to gain control of the ball, move up as a team and form plays.

Champayne said that the team now needs to work on building endurance. 

For instance, in the game against Western Sierra on April 19, two girls were taken out of the game due to cramps.

“We really need to work on conditioning,” Champayne said. 

“And then we’re golden.”

In the third quarter, junior Avi Bhullar pushes the ball down field.

Adam Ketchum
In the third quarter, junior Avi Bhullar pushes the ball down field.

—By Jack Christian

This article was previously published in the print edition, April 26. 

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