By Marion Wood
After a difficult season last year, the South Pasadena High School girls’ soccer team has been practicing diligently in preparation for the 2014-15 winter season. The program was upended last year when the previous head coach retired with little notice, prompting the school to quickly find a replacement. The players had trouble adjusting to the new head coach, Robert Galos, and placed third in the Rio Hondo League, ending their streak as league champions.
“We would really like to do better than we did last year, because last year was really hard, especially in pre-season,” senior Alyssa Carlos said. “Our team was really disconnected and had trouble with teamwork. This year, I think we can change that.”
To accomplish these goals, the practices for returning players began early this fall. The try-outs were held last week, November 10 to 14, although the varsity and JV teams have not officially been decided. The varsity team this year will be relatively young, missing seniors Ryan Ramirez, Alexis Velasco, Emily Figueroa, and Erica Holopainen. The four girls were an integral part of the team dynamic, and it will be difficult to fill their positions, especially in the midfield. Fortunately, there are many talented incoming players, including freshman Emily Dunn and Lily Turner-Kipke.
“We have a young team but a lot of heart, and I think that will really help us and give us a leg up in season,” senior Julia Primuth said.
This year, the team faces a unique challenge because their home field will be under renovation during the season. Instead, the district is looking into other options, which include the Arroyo Seco Park, Occidental College, and Arcadia City Hall fields. On Monday, November 11, the South Pasadena soccer parents and players met with the school to discuss the alternatives. Many of the players were frustrated with the way the district handled the issue.
“It’s really disappointing that we may not have a true home field for our season,” sophomore Amelia DeYoung said. “No matter where we play, however, working as a team and doing our best is always our goal.”
The Tigers will have to adjust quickly, as the first pre-season game is scheduled for Wednesday, November 26, against Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy at 10 a.m. The match will be held on the South Pasadena High School field, which will be used for the first few games of the pre-season.