SHS Girls Soccer Goes to Districts

Willy Lanz, Meg Fritz

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The Stevenson Girls soccer team is on to districts for the first time… ever! The Bulldogs defeated Seton Catholic on the Bulldog’s senior night with a score of 2-1. Stevenson took the lead in the first half with a goal from senior Addison Newell, but Seton Catholic was able to tie the match in the second half. The match ended in regulation with a 1-1 score line. The game went to overtime, a ten-minute golden goal period, meaning the first team to score wins. With two minutes left on the clock, foreign exchange student Paula Manrique scored the winning goal. This win is sending the team to district playoffs for the first time in program history.

The Girl’s Soccer Program is still new, as it was established in 2002. It took a while for the team to grow, then it was completely redirected when coach Bill LaCombe took over to lead the team in the right direction. He and assistant coaches Kevin Edwards and Gary Rathgeber have transformed the team in more ways than one. “I saw a really nice group of athletes that couldn’t believe in themselves, and all we did was make them believe! That’s all we were missing,” LaCombe said. Edwards is the coach of the JV team, and wanted to put in a word for the underclassmen that recently became part of the program. “Lots of girls would start and quit because working hard and not seeing success fast was a hard sell,” he said. “Having tons of seniors this year that put in the time really motivated younger players to stick with it. This team has changed the culture of our school all together.” The success has truly changed the attitude at school- over thirty girls are part of the program, and it has been growing each season over the past four years. Even first-year player Paula praised the team, saying “your hardwork brought you here and it was the best sport I could choose!” All of the seniors have put in their time, and are seeing the years of hard work pay off at last. Senior captain Melina Liedtke had to share her coaches quote- “Winning is a habit!” Now that they’ve learned to make winning a habit, Liedkte says it’s all the more reason to “Stay with the team because we’re a family, and you’ll make lifelong memories.”

They were able to finally attend districts, but they sadly lost. They lost with a 0-5 game, Elma got the first three goals at the beginning of the game, and the SHS girls fought back hard preventing goals for most of the remaining time, until at the end Elma scored two more goals. Though they may have lost, they are proud of what they have accomplished this season.

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