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The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Shooting for State: Girls Varsity Soccer Team Reflects on the Regular Season and Looks Ahead to the Playoffs

Finn Christensen-McElroy
Junior Brooke Wilkinson, along with an opponent, walks towards the Canby goalie in anticipation for her throw-in.

The La Salle girls varsity soccer team is heading into their last few games of the regular season with distinct goals for the playoffs ahead and a commitment to making those goals a reality. 

The team’s league record so far is 4-1-1. Overall they have eight wins, three losses, and two ties, and are currently ranked #4 in 5A, behind North Eugene / Triangle Lake, Caldera, and Wilsonville. This season, Wilsonville is the two-time defending state champ.

Despite losing to Wilsonville on Oct. 2, senior Stella Gibbons said the team is determined that, should the two teams play each other again, La Salle will come away with the win. “If we see them again in the playoffs, we will make our mark for sure,” Gibbons said.

According to Gibbons, the team started off a “bit rocky” in preseason, finishing worse than they hoped to, but as league games have started they are back on the rise and aiming to make it to the championships. 

Gibbons, one of the varsity team’s four captains, said that for the remainder of the season, they’re trying “to give it everything [they have], 100% effort, and focus as much as possible to get as far as [they] can.” 

This is Gibbons’ final season playing competitive soccer, and so along with all of the seniors on the team, it’s her last chance to win the state championship. Sophomore Julia Hoesly said that captains Natalie Gonzalez, Gibbons, Sydney Spotts, and Sydney Anderson “really want this, especially since it’s their last year, and so they’re all willing to work super hard and encourage everyone to work hard.” 

“Everyone’s trying to do it together and we’re trying to work hard and win for each other,” Hoesly said.

With two hour practices almost every day after school, occasional Sunday training, and games up to twice a week, the team is certainly putting in the work. Managing the commitment of being on the varsity team along with school can be challenging, especially since Gibbons said that she often doesn’t get home from practices until 6 or 7 p.m. But the resilience that soccer teaches, along with time management skills, are important lessons that Gibbons will remember even when she is no longer playing. 

“It’s mentally challenging, but I think… it teaches you a lot of lessons,” Gibbons said. “If you get scored on or you go down in a game, you have to stay positive and you have to work hard to get it back… I think that’s very applicable to life in general.”

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  • The team huddles and prepares to warm up before the beginning of the second half. Entering the second half, the team led by a score of 1-0, scoring again early on to bring home the win.

  • La Salle players senior Sydney Anderson and junior Brooke Wilkinson grapple for the ball with a Canby player near the La Salle goal in the 20th minute of the game.

  • Senior Natalie Gonzalez re-enters the field after throwing the ball back into play.

  • Sophomore Julia Hoesly positions herself to take possession of the free ball.

  • Freshman Lily Over keeps the ball away from two Canby players as senior Seychelle Marks-Bien prepares for a possible pass.

  • Senior Stella Gibbons prepares to take a penalty kick.

  • A Canby player passes the ball to her teammate as senior Sydney Spotts prepares to intercept at the very end of the second half, with 12 seconds remaining on the clock.

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Though the team’s mental toughness and the effort they put in during training will definitely pay off when in-game, what’s more important to their success is the team’s bond. This year it’s “super strong,” freshman Lily Over said. “We all fight for the same goal which makes us really well-working together on the field and off the field.”

“I love our team,” Hoesly said, adding onto what Over described about the team’s community. “I’m just really proud of the effort that everyone is putting in because I know that no one likes doing things like fitness… it’s tough, but everyone does it anyway.” 

Another important piece to their success is how they overcome setbacks together. Losing games is inevitable, and, as Over said, it “brings the whole team down.” Everyone has good days and bad days, and as the team shoots for state, how they respond to adversity will determine a large portion of their trajectory. 

Soccer is very much a team sport, and according to Gibbons, “being part of a team is really just about picking up slack when you can. If you’re having a good day and [other] people aren’t then it’s your job to pick up the slack,” she said. 

“Team isn’t… about everyone being 100% all the time. It’s just about helping each other out,” Gibbons said. 

Their next game is against Parkrose on Oct. 24. After that, they have one final game on Oct. 26 against Centennial before the beginning of playoffs.

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