Kickin’ It


photo by Ryan Schmitt

Foward Emma Canty dribbles the ball downfield versus Winter Springs.

The 2019 girls soccer team limped to a 5-8-4 finish to the regular season and a quick 3-1 loss in the first round of the playoffs. With eight graduating seniors, the program was looking for new leadership and new life. Team captains Emma Canty, Siara Youngblood and Addison Smith stepped forward and have ignited a “family” like fire in the program. 

Now, the team is staring down the rest of the season with a 7-0 record, the school’s best start since 2013.

 “Our play style changed this year in comparison to last because of the chemistry that has developed,” Canty said.

Smith has played a key role in the bond that has been built this year by having the team at her house to spend together and host a team dinner, which they believe has contributed to their success on the field. 

“Most seasons I have felt like my friendships with the team would only last during the season,” Smith said. “This year I know that I will have these friends for years to come.”

Their game day routines have also changed from last year. They text back and forth in their team group chat throughout the day expressing excitement for the game. From jamming out in the locker room to team hangouts, they are always together, and that has helped them win.

“By knowing your teammate’s preferences you can make smarter decisions such as whether to play a ball to feet or into space,” Smith said. 

This proves true in the close games and even the blowouts. The team has had a close win over Lake Mary, 1-0, and a dominant  5-1 win against Apopka. 

Midfielder Reagan Fitzgerald has also stepped up in a major role after losing the majority of the team’s starters last season and leads the team in goals, with 10 goals on the year.

“I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Fitzgerald said. “They always play me the perfect ball.”

Another contributing factor to their season is the addition of four freshmen on the varsity team. Skye Barnes, Megan O’Donnell, Aryana Rosenblum, and Raegen Varvarigos have accounted for seven of 23 goals and seven of 18 assists. Rosenblum, a goalkeeper, has worked together with Olivia Caruso in front of the net, shutting out four of seven opponents so far.

“We had the core of wonderful returning players and added four dynamic freshmen,” head coach Angie Densberger said. “They are very talented on the field and are wonderful teammates.”

Game against Oviedo was not completed in time for publication.