By Austin Lee ’21 with additional reporting by Hannah Han ’21
The girls soccer squads kicked off their seasons with tournament games in the OC Winter Showcase and the Aliso Cup, which happened from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 5 to 9, respectively. The varsity team had a strong start, winning by large margins against San Juan Hills and Palisades HS and keeping lost games very close.
Varsity midfielder Natalie Barnouw ’21 commented on the team’s performance with a growth mindset.
“We’ve had some good games and bad game
s, against the harder opponents we’ve done not as well, but I think that’s something we can improve on,” Barnouw said.
The varsity squad currently stands with a 7-2-1 record.
The junior varsity team’s season began with a shaky start, playing against harder opponents in the two tournaments that opened the season, but has been practicing to improve.
Program Head and Varsity Head Coach Richard Simms discussed the junior varsity squad’s season so far, also looking to the future.
“The [junior varsity team] has played some really tough teams, but should be battle-tested for the league season and has a realistic shot at a league title,” Simms said.
Both high school teams consist of an exceptional number of younger players; one quarter of the players on the varsity roster, including players on both the varsity and junior varsity rosters, and more than half of the players on the junior varsity squad are ninth graders. There are six freshman on the current varsity roster, compared to the two from last year.
“There are… 20 freshmen overall, which is a great number for us. This is one of the largest freshman classes we’ve had,” Simms said.
Both high school teams have started their league seasons, each with games against Marymount High School on Jan. 10.
Both Simms and Barnouw noted forward Ariana Miles’s ’18 exceptional performance. Other standouts on the varsity squad include defender Natalie Phillips ’21 and midfielder Natalie Barnouw ’21, both freshmen, and defender Flynn Klace ‘19 and midfielder Kristen Quinonez ’20. Simms also reported that Brooke Stanford ‘21 is having an excellent season on the junior varsity team. The varsity team plays Marlborough High School on Friday, and the junior varsity squad plays Alemany High School on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Middle School seventh and eighth grade teams played their first games during the week of Jan. 1. All previous matches and several practices were cancelled due to the various fires in the Los Angeles area. Practice has resumed as normal, and the teams practice on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday. Both squads are working hard to make up for the practices they missed.
“My favorite thing about the season is the girls and playing and practicing with them,” midfielder Jade Stanford ’22 said.
Both teams fell behind on skills due to the cancelled practices, but Sofia Li ‘22 noticed that the eighth grade team had a larger weak point.
“We’re pretty good as a team, but we should work on communication,” Li said.
The seventh grade team goes head to head against Heritage Christian on Jan. 23, and the eighth grade team plays Chaminade on Jan. 23.