UHS Girls’ Soccer Senior Night


Malea Weaver

The UHS Varsity Girls’ Soccer team poses for Senior Night. 16 seniors will be graduating from UHS this year.

Leah Schulman, Staff Writer

On Jan. 24th, UHS hosted its Senior Night for the girls’ soccer team. Before honoring its seniors, the girls’ team played against Beckman High School, losing 2-1. 

In the first half of the game, the two teams were tied 0-0. The Trojans came out strong after halftime, scoring their first goal, but they were quickly followed by Beckman, who scored the game-winning goal in the last two minutes.

Although it was a tough loss for the team, the night ended on a positive note with the ceremony honoring the 16 seniors on the team. The seniors included Silvi Romito, Karina Pandurangadu, Lena Fortun, Sydney Toyama, Scarlett Purser, Kate Stenta, Mia Kim, Leila Cinar, Faith Hong, Sydney Gaw, Mischa Vanek, Kylie Paek, Sarah Romito, Mina Lipets, Tara Pirzadeh and Francesca Levine.

The parents and coaches made the night special for the seniors, decorating the field with a balloon arch, providing the girls with flowers and saying a brief speech about each player. The girls were surrounded by their teammates, coaches, friends and family as they were being honored.

For many of the players, including Varsity Captain and star defender Kate Stenta, this game was the culmination of years of playing the sport. Stenta has played soccer since she was four years old and has been a part of the girls’ soccer program all four of her years at UHS. She has also verbally committed to playing at Chapman University this fall. Although Stenta tore her ACL and missed the remainder of her senior season, she was still there to support her friends and teammates.

“After I found out I tore my ACL, I was heartbroken that I wouldn’t be able to play for this team again,” Stenta said. “[This sport] is the thing that makes me happiest in life and that’s what I’m going to miss, the joy that it brings me.”

Mia Kim, the other Varsity Captain this season, plays outside forward and center midfield. She has played soccer since she was five years old and returned this season after tearing her ACL last year. Kim’s favorite memory was winning league in her first season on the UHS soccer team and scoring two goals in their first CIF game. She recalls how special it was to be back this year.

“After being injured I just don’t take anything for granted,” Kim said. “I love being out on the field and doing what I love.”

The girls also expressed how much their coaches mean to them and their appreciation for all of their hard work. According to Head Coach Cole Fipps, his favorite part about coaching soccer is the players.

“They’re an amazing group of girls and being around them every day just makes coaching easy and very enjoyable . . . I’m really proud of them,” Coach Fipps said.

Coach Fipps notes how it will be difficult losing the 16 seniors, but recognizes that the future is bright and there are underclassmen who are ready to step up. As for the graduating class, he is excited to see what comes next for each of them.