Kick-starting the new year with a 2-1 victory over Episcopal, Jan. 10, the small but fierce girls’ soccer team stands 6-1 moving into its final matches before the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) on Feb. 14.
“It was such a great win since it was the first game of the year, versus a big rival, and both goals were absolutely beautiful,” senior captain Jack Simmons said.
One of the benefits of having a small, 18-member team is that the bench is never full.
“Because everyone on the team got to play in the Episcopal game, winning was even sweeter,” Simmons said.
The team earned victories against St. Stephen’s and St. Andrew’s, both 3-0, the weekend of Jan. 18.
Two key players, junior Taylor Welch and sophomore Leah Vogel, have suffered injuries recently, leaving gaps in pivotal positions on the field. As a result, Simmons has been playing on defense as opposed to her usual spot on midfield.
“It’s nice that the injured players can help motivate the team,” Simmons said. “Although it’s challenging to play unfamiliar positions, many of the younger players are flexible.”
After a 4-1 loss against Kinkaid earlier this season, the Lady Mavericks have something to prove in the upcoming rivalry game against Kinkaid, Jan. 24.
“Winning this year would be validation for us,” junior Kendall Bernard said. “It would show that last year was not a fluke.”
“The victory over Kinkaid last year was the highlight of the season, and it would mean so much to win again,” junior Mady Beckner said
The team attributes much of its success to Head Coach Rachel Fabre.
“She’s so passionate and driven,” Beckner said, “She’s very committed to the team’ success.”
The team strikes a delicate balance of authority between captains Abby Avery and Jack Simmons and Fabre.
“Coach Fabre is really good about letting us get involved in leading the team while advising us behind the scenes,” Simmons said. “She switches from good cop to bad cop. She definitely doesn’t like being stern with us, but we respond well to that role.”
The captains’ main role is getting the team motivated, focused, and involved, particularly the younger players.
“The captains do a great job of keeping us focused during practice,” Beckner said. “That’s a hard job because we tend to joke around a lot.”
“We’re lucky to have really good captains,” Bernard said.“They go out of their way to get us excited for every game with locker signs and t-shirts.”
The week before the Episcopal game the team came together for crepe making and team bonding at junior Jessica Nyquist’s home.
“This is the kind of team that never stops laughing,” Beckner said. “It’s cool that we can be sarcastic with each other and still know that we support each other on and off the field.
1/24 Kinkaid, 5:00 p.m. (Away)
1/31 St. Mary’s Hall, 5:00 p.m. (Home)
2/4 John Cooper School, 5:00 p.m. (Home)
2/7 Houston Christian High School, 5:00 p.m. (Away)
2/14 SPC (Home)