By KIEL MESSINGER
Girls soccer defeated Irvine 1-0 for their fifth win in the past six games. After losing to Irvine early in the season, the team has really improved throughout the season, especially improving their teamwork. Due to the recent success, the team sits in second place behind Northwood, and has a high chance of qualifying for CIF.
“After a few trainings, I feel like the team became more cohesive, figured out our style of play, and just found our rhythm. We knew we could compete and we were not going to let the losses stop us from showing what our program is about,” senior Alyssa Stapinski said.
The break after the first two games may have played a role in the team’s turnaround.
“The first two losses happened before and during finals week, so during the vacation the team was able to re-evaluate our game tactics, and our coaches pushed us to do our best during training,” sophomore Amberley Martinez said.
The improvement was on display against Irvine, as the team controlled most of the game.
“The team overall played really well. We were connecting and pressing their goal most of the game,” Stapinski added.
The team’s pressure paid off quickly, with an early goal from Martinez from a corner kick. However, after taking the early lead, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the Trojans.
“We backed down a little, and… Irvine began to get more chances, but our defense held pretty well,” Martinez said.
The defense was able to maintain a shutout, and the victory meant a lot to the team.
“I thought the Irvine game was really successful not necessarily because we played exceptionally well, but because we managed to beat a team that previously beat us… We were able to win a game we really needed to win by having the right attitude from the start, and I think that was really important.” junior Deborah Lee said.
The team looks to continue their success at home against Woodbridge on January 30 to finish the season.