Soccer has striking start to season


Julia-Rose Kibben

Freshman Cece Giarman prepares to pass around her opponent in a match against The Bay School of San Francisco. The Convent team has players of all grades and skill levels who began their season in February.

India Thieriot, Assistant Copy Editor

After winning its second game this season, the soccer team has already beat last season’s record, and players hope to make it to the championships in their new league.

The team plays in the Bay Counties Central League, competing against new faces as all former competing schools — except for International High School — switched to the winter season.

“This season is going to be a little different from previous seasons because we have a stronger team with more depth to our roster,” co-captain Delaney Moslander said. “We have new players from every grade, so they’re able to contribute more and help fill some gaps.”

JV and varsity teams are combining for the second season, giving JV players a chance to step outside of their comfort zones, according to coach Joel Snyder.

“It worked out really well for us in terms of having the numbers that we need on the roster,” Snyder said about combining the teams. “It also supported us being able to grow the JV level players into varsity players.”

The combined team allows for less experienced players to observe the strategies and plays of the varsity-level girls, according to freshman Cece Giarman.

“I look up to the older girls when looking for new moves,” Giarman said. “Even if you mess up in a game, they say things like ‘It’s okay. Don’t worry. You’ll get it next time.’ Last year they only won one game, and we’ve already won two, so hopefully we’ll continue doing well.”

The captains play a significant role on the team in terms of motivation, according to Moslander.

“I care a lot about soccer, and I always make sure to put in my best effort at games and at practices,” Moslander said. “I’m hoping that my passion and my effort will resonate with some of the younger girls on the team, and they’ll want to work as hard as I do.”

In addition to motivating the team, co-captain Izzie Panasci says part of being captain is giving constructive criticism in the most helpful way possible.

“When you do give advice, you do it in a way that is positive, negative, then positive,” Panasci said. “It’s kind of like a sandwich. You let people know what they are doing well, and you also pick an appropriate time to tell them what went wrong. You want to be as light as possible.”

Snyder and assistant coach Ricardo Azucena have different coaching styles that make for the perfect combination, according to Panasci.

“We as coaches look at areas of personal development outside of soccer — physical development and making sure you’re maintaining yourself health-wise,” Snyder said. “Mental toughness is also part of it — your ability to focus and be disciplined to get done what needs to be done.”

The game is about the feeling of playing on the field and enhancing the experience for others as well, according to Panasci.

“I’m really loud on the sideline, even if it can be embarrassing because I’m just screaming,” Panasci said. “When you’re out there and someone calls your name and you know that you’ve done something well, that kind of makes you want to play better and continue playing.”