Pros and cons of not having a JV Girls Soccer team

Adrian Arnaboldi , Staff Writer

Greener pastures are ahead for the up-and-coming girls’ soccer program. The program will be without a JV team for the second year in a row. With only 16 players trying out for the team, Coach Tim Sullivan was forced to create only one team. Almost half of the team’s 16 players are freshmen, and the team only has two seniors.

The lack of players has given some freshmen a unique opportunity to be part of a varsity team, and the freshmen relish the opportunity to play against better competition.

“The other teams are generally more aggressive than in middle school, which actually makes it more fun,” Caroline Madaio (9) said.

The upperclassmen have enjoyed practicing and getting to know the freshman. “They’re all very fun people who always make practice interesting,” Carmel Pe’er (11) said. “They’re all also very eager to work hard and get better which are great qualities and really help to make the team better.”

The team has become a tighter knit group over the course of the season, which has helped the team’s performance on the field, captain Kiara Royer (12) said.

“If it weren’t for soccer, I probably would’ve never talked to or been friends with the girls on the soccer team,” Madaio said.

Royer has enjoyed mentoring younger players, she said. “It’s fun because I’m the older one, and I get to help younger players and see them improve.”

Sometimes coaches are hesitant to place freshmen players on varsity, because they fear the players won’t get valuable playing time; however, many of the freshmen players receive a lot of playing time, Royer said.

“Although I might have gotten more playing time on the JV team, the team aspects and the general vibe of the team is super good,” Madaio said. Madaio has also received a good chunk of playing time off the bench, she said.

Coach Sullivan has attempted to ease some of the younger players into the action. “Preseason was definitely easier than it has been previously, with less conditioning and more focus on skills,” Pe’er said. “He also stresses the importance of improvement and effort rather than the score of a game.”

Some underclassmen players have had to adjust to playing a varsity sport, but others have been unfazed by the opportunity. “It didn’t really feel as if there was an adjustment because the team is so small and everyone is super nice,” Madaio said.

The team, currently sporting a 2-1-5 record, looks to continue improving and growing a successful program over the course of the season.