Despite not having a single win, the Girls Varsity Soccer team was able to cut down its goal differential and tie a game this season as it completes a rebuilding year.
The team developed their skills and grew closer as a group this season, co-Captain Lucy Rittmaster (12) said. Rittmaster led the team with co-Captain Kiara Royer (11), the only other upperclassman on the team.
Since many members from last year’s team graduated, “a lot of new players had to step up into big roles,” Rittmaster said. Many of them had to come straight from middle school to playing on a varsity team, but they all developed well throughout the season, she said.
Some players participated in out of school teams, but others were new to the sport, Kelly Troop (10) said. They were all athletic, and “what they lacked in skill they made up for in heart and hard work,” she said.
“Because we were such a young team, we needed time to understand how to play as a functioning unit,” Royer said. Towards the end of the season they improved on their passing and shooting and played more like a team, she said.
Many players stepped up to the challenge and stood out. Eliza Becker (9), the team’s starting goalie, wasn’t as tall as many other varsity players but was a “vital part of the team” and made many “crucial” saves each game, Royer said.
Laila Farmer (9) was another strong member of the team, because she can play anywhere and isn’t afraid to go up against players twice her size, Royer said.
Leyli Granmayeh (10) was put into a new role this season as sweeper and really stepped up. As sweeper she was the team’s last line of defense and cleared the ball away many times, Royer said.
Royer was the team’s MVP this year, Coach Tim Sullivan said. Rittmaster was crucial in leading the team, he said.
“Lucy was super understanding and nice and pushed us to get better,” Emma Djoganopoulos (10) said.
“Leading the team with Kiara was one of my favorite parts of the season,” Rittmaster said. Only having two upperclassmen on the team created a unique dynamic that allowed the freshmen and sophomores to be more involved. The team was like “one big family,” she said.
Even though the team did not win a game this season, they competed hard and persisted through the season against every team they played.
One notable moment was the team’s game against Fieldston, Royer said. They were dejected after being down 2-0 at halftime, but Rittmaster fired them up and they were able to come back strong and tie the game. This was a testament to the team’s resilient spirit, she said.
“I am very proud of our girls for working so hard during the season and never giving up,” Sullivan said. The team worked hard everyday and made a lot of progress, he said.
This was “one of the most fun seasons of any sport I’ve played,” Rittmaster said. The team shows a lot of potential for next year as everyone will improve in the offseason and come back bigger and more experienced, she said.