Through Thick and Thin: The Legend of the Girls Varsity Soccer Team

Gables’ varsity girls soccer team at their best.

Gabrielle Saliamonas, Contributor

Imagine sweat dripping down the sides of your face and mud getting tossed and thrown all across your body as you sprint down the field. You had just received the ball and are creating a counter attack against the other team. Breathing heavily, yet at your up most concentration, you see in the very corner of your eye that perfect shot. You take one last step and fire, sending the ball across the field and, wait…one more second… Goal! Do all this, and you have imagined a day in the life of a varsity girls soccer player.

Coming to the end of their season and right into regional’s, the girls varsity soccer team has had one of their more difficult, yet rewarding, seasons. To start, three out of the four captains were injured, and not just for a couple of days; senior captain Priscilla Rodriguez unfortunately was out the entire season due to an injury she faced in her earlier volleyball season; junior captain Nelly Sagarra, one of the top goal scorers, was also out after a few games because of a broken collarbone she received during a previous game; and senior captain Hadley Stringer had an ankle injury that cost her to leave most of the season, but she has gratefully returned to the team for Districts.

“This season has been hard for me personally because I couldn’t be on the field as much as I wanted to, and as a senior it was hard to believe this would be my last year playing soccer,” Stringer said.

Most of the girls on the soccer team have played soccer their whole life, and being seniors it is especially difficult to imagine a life without playing their beloved sport every day. However, with their one captain left standing, senior Danielle “Dany” Riesco leads the team to 15 well-earned victories.

“We had one of the best records since I’ve been playing for Gables, and we even scored against Lourdes, which hasn’t been done in a long time,” Riesco said.

The team did, in fact, score against their rival Lourdes, which was a dream come true for the girls on the team. It was just another obstacle they overcame this season. The team’s final record ends with 15 wins, 4 losses, and 2 draws.

As a team, Stringer commented, “I have never been more proud of all the girls, and I feel so lucky to have been able to watch them grow on and off the field.”

As for the underclassmen, the team was exceptionally pleased when they had all of their freshmen and sophomores take such a demanding and important role in the outcome of the season. As coach Eddy Aguirre continuously said throughout the season, “We are a young and prospering team.”

As the girls battle their way through the season, they finish second in their district behind Lourdes. However, as they entered the GMAC competition, they were considered first out of all the public schools. With a long and cold fight against Miami Springs for the first round of GMAC’s, Gables unfortunately lost and is out of the competition.

Starting defender Claire Shillington said, “GMACs this year was a little rough. If we had all of our players I think it would’ve been completely different.”

This bump in the road didn’t stop the team, though. They continued to practice hard as they prepared for semi finals in districts, waiting to play Miami Beach. Even though they had beaten them twice previously in the regular season, the Gables girls were expecting an exciting game. Without any loss of concentration, they played one of their best games yet and finished the game with a score of 8-0, Gables with the win.

Finally, the team prepared for their next game of District Finals versus their most despised rival, Lourdes. The game began with a tragic event of losing their center midfielder to a red card, causing the team to play one man short throughout the duration of the game. Already with the odds against them, Gables lost in the district finals. Although, coming in second, the girls still advanced to regionals. This is the first time in several years that the team had made it this far and they are extremely thankful for that. Sophomore Jordan Payne explains how  “even with all the injuries, the team definitely stepped up and dug deep to finish with such a fantastic record and to be able to make it to regional’s.”

With such a close team like Varsity Girls Soccer, it goes to show that even when there are many rough patches, as long as you work together, anything can be accomplished.