Varsity girls soccer team leads District, prepares for playoffs

Coming to the end of their season, the varsity girls soccer team has two games left in District play: 7:45 p.m. March 8 at home and 7:45 p.m. March 13 at the Burger Stadium annex field. The Lady Chaps are currently placed first in District with a record of 15-1.

“Everyone on the team has big goals for this season,” senior Katie Kearney said. “I personally would love for the team to make a deep run into the playoffs and hopefully all the way to the State Championship. We have a really strong group of upperclassmen to lead the team this year, so I think we have a really good chance to make it far in playoffs.”

Six new girls have joined varsity as well as 14 returning players from the previous year. Together they spend a little less than two hours a day on practices to prepare for their Friday games.

“This year we are focusing on working smarter, not harder,” head coach Darci Carruthers said. “We don’t need to practice for two hours a day when we can have an efficient one-hour training session. At this point in the season, we are just doing minor tweaks here and there in order to get ready for the next game.”

At their tournament against Austin High Feb. 15, the Lady Chaps won 4-1 and saw some familiar faces on the field.

“[The Austin High meet] was a really fun game because many of us have club teammates who play for Austin High, so we got to compete against them,” Katie said. “None of us wanted to lose to our [AHS] teammates and friends, so we brought a little extra energy to the game. Everyone worked really hard and played well, and we ended up winning.”

The season is senior Ryan Dittoe’s first year as captain for the varsity team. Going forward, Ryan hopes that the team can come together to win District and advance to Regionals.

“I think we’ve grown a lot as a team since last season, especially as a senior class, stepping up as leaders for the program,” Ryan said. “I’ve seen everyone become a lot closer friends both on and off the field. Certain players have stepped up in different positions than last year and we’ve become a stronger team as a result. We started off the season strong and I know we can end it that way too.”