Girls Soccer Hopes for a Strong Run in CIF Play

Avalon Owens, Staff Writer

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   The UC High Girls Soccer Team’s cohesive nature allows for them to rack up their wins both on and off the field.  With their drive and dedication, these girls are a prime example of the statement “there is no I in team.”

   “Our team has a strong bond. We win as a team and lose as a team, but always keep our heads up and motivate each other,” affirmed Sophomore Gaby Bruce. “Our team’s chemistry this year is the greatest it’s been in a long time,” said Junior Sidney Gillum.

Sidney Gillum points outs the extensive number of underclassmen players that make up this year’s varsity team when she mentioned, “This year we have more underclassmen than ever before, creating a whole new dynamic for our team. However, the younger players have definitely stepped up to the challenge and filled the spots of those before them.”

   Senior Co-Captain Erin Gillum revealed, “Our main goal is to make it to CIF playoffs and hopefully have a strong run.” Moving forward in their season, the girls have set their intentions high. “I think we have to ability to do very well in League if we continue to work hard,” said Bruce. Currently, they have a record of 1-2-2 in League.

   The team  has seen their fair share of competition, facing  schools such as Mission Bay High, Patrick Henry High, and Christian High. “The teams in our League are challenging competitors,” said Bruce.

   “Our team plays best when we control the ball and find each others feet, by connecting short and fast passes we can control the flow of the game,” said Sidney Gillum. “As a team, one of our greatest strengths is that we are very fast; our speed is something that separates us from other teams,” added Freshman Nichole Penaflor.

   This athleticism stems from the routine they use during practices. Bruce said, “In practice, we usually  work on technical skills like penetrating lines, movement of the ball, and formation. Refining our skills this season has allowed us to improve a lot.”

  The girls mentioned that the team would not be the same if it wasn’t directed by such strong leaders. “Seniors Camille Balagtas and Erin Gillum definitely stand out. They’re our captains, so they’re always encouraging us and boosting our confidence on the field. They’re both outstanding players who constantly work hard,” said Bruce.

   The sport also allows the girls to bond and make connections outside of a school setting. “Being able to play with a group of people you’ve never played with before gives a kind of excitement that makes you want to keep playing in high school simply because it’s so fun,” said Penaflor. Erin Gillum voiced, “I love playing soccer because the team becomes your second family. The sport is an amazing way to stay active and make friends.”

   “My favorite part of playing would be the competitive aspect of the game. I love the rush of preparing for a game day and love being able to compete with other girls my age while playing the game I love,” said Erin Gillum.

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