Girls Soccer Annihilates

As the fall athletes hang up their jerseys and put away their equipment for the season, the girls soccer team continues to blow their competition out of the water, competing for league championship-and the possibility of State


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With a league record of 8-0 at press time, it is safe to say the girls soccer team is a force to be reckoned with. In past years, the Vikings have been league champions and have gone on to playoffs, a tradition they intend to continue this year. Captains Liz Griffith, Jessica Udovich and Jordyn Bartelson are leading scorers for the Vikings with a combined total of 24 goals at press time. “We are doing well, we have not lost [in league] yet,” Griffith said.
AP Government and AP Psychology teacher as well as girls soccer coach Matthew White says that the secrets to leading a successful team boil down to “sarcasm and hard work.”
The team’s success can also be attributed to White’s coaching philosophy, which involves effort and attitude. He does not care about the team’s record, he says he just wants the team to improve every game. “You can always work harder,” White said.
He defines success for his team as working harder and better today than yesterday, a goal which the team has adopted. “We want to win State…to get better and have constant improvement, which is one of our team goals,” Griffith said. Because of this goal, the team is focused more on themselves than on their opponents, the score or the record. No matter the skill level of their opponent the team tries to focus on the task at hand.
“We focus on ourselves and take care of our jobs. If you work hard and you are constantly improving, why [would] you care about your record? If you are doing your job, you are doing your job; your record is what it is, you have no control over it,” White said. In addition to their work ethic, White also focuses on his players’ attitudes by making “Team First” a goal. “We do a lot of stuff outside of soccer; we do team dinners and get together. We make being a team a top priority,” Bartleson said.
Coach White’s statement, “Mean no offense, take no offense,” embodies his goal for the team to be selfless and realize that it is not about the individual but about the team as a whole.
“When players mean offense and take offense the team can say goodbye to championships,” White said.
Although taking offense does not seem to be a problem for the team.
“I think our greatest strength is our team unity. We are really close as a team. The soccer team does not have drama, everyone gets along,” Griffith said.
On top of the team’s talent, work ethic and unity, they are very responsive to the coaching they receive.
“The team is very coachable. Even in the midst of games they are willing to listen,” White said.
Although the Vikings have been very successful in their season, they have come across a few challenging games.
“We’ve only lost one game. From that [loss] we have started to take a lot more shots from outside the 18,” Bartleson said.
As the Vikings approach the end of their regular season, they anticipate being league champs and are hopeful to make it further in the playoffs than they did last season.
“I think we have a chance at going pretty far in State,” Griffith said.
The team will face Rogers, a school rival, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Sparks Stadium.