Girls soccer preps for regular season


photo by Peyton Sutch

Midfielders Addison Smith and Sierra Youngblood battle for control of a ball in a drill during practice for their upcoming regular season.

With the future of the girls soccer season in question, the addition of four incoming freshmen players has been a welcome change, bringing much optimism to the program. After a 5-9-4 regular season record and a 3-1 first-round loss to Timber Creek in the district playoffs last year, uncertainty formed.

Freshmen Aryana Rosenblum, Megan O’Donnell, Reagan Varvarigos and Skye Barnes come to fill in the void of graduating seniors and plan on changing the pattern of the season last year. 

“With the seniors from last year leaving players needs to step up and play positions they have never played before,” forward Reagan Fitzgerald said. 

Over the offseason, players have worked from shooting to ball control and passing to further skill. This is a testament to their dominant 3-0 preseason win over Lake Howell on Nov. 3. Fitzgerald put up all three goals and got assists from Barnes and center forward Emma Canty.

“We did well playing in midfield and playing combinations to get us forward,” Fitzgerald said. “Our shots were very good and we had a lot of them.”

Not only has the offseason provided the time to practice individually, but returning players like Canty and Smith have stepped up as team captains and continued to build team culture and be leaders on and off the field, by leading in practice and in games.

“The leadership is very strong this year and the team is responding well to our philosophy,” head coach Angie Densberger said.

Just like other programs, the season will have a different feel due to the COVID-19 protocols, with players wearing masks in locker rooms, on the bench when not playing, and no handshakes before or after the game.

Athletes are more than willing to follow these protocols for the sake of protecting their season, as many other schools have canceled seasons throughout the state. 

“The main goal I have for my team this year is to have the most fun possible,” center back Addison Smith said. “I want us to win games, but in the end, it’s the experiences you are going to remember.”

The fun is just now starting for them, with team chemistry as amazing as it has been, according to Canty, and she believes that this will carry over into their season opener against Lake Howell.