The Spectacular Seven

Langston McHenry , Sports Writer

When school began in August, making the girls varsity soccer team was the last thing on seven underclassmen’s minds.

“It’s really amazing being on varsity; only being a freshman reminds me that I need to keep working hard and prove that I do belong on the team,” freshman midfielder Laila Malak said.

Malak and six other underclassmen will have to limit their nervousness and bring the talent coach James Boswell knows they possess.

“They bring some soccer playing experience that we haven’t had in a few years,” Boswell said.
Sophomore midfielder Anika Sandstrom has acquainted herself with varsity soccer quickly after not playing high school soccer at all last year.

“I was excited and nervous to play my first high school soccer game. I really wanted to help out as best as I could,” Sandstrom said.

With 10 minutes expired in the second half of their first game this season, the Vikings trailed 1-0 against Willowbrook.

After a cross was sent into the box from freshman midfielder Shallon Malfeo, Sandstrom sent a header rattling into the net to tie the game.
“I had a lot of adrenaline right before I headed it in and I really wanted the team to get a goal off of the corner kick,” Sandstrom said.

Due to the plethora of underclassmen who play offense, junior forward Kennedy Weaver knows she must step up her game to help her teammates.

“One thing I need to do on the offensive end to help this team be successful is practice my runs and communicate more with the other forwards,” Weaver said. “I need to work on my spacing also. If I can improve on this, that would help us a lot.”

Boswell understands that this team is younger than in years past, but doesn’t see that limiting his team this season.

“We have more depth on this year’s team than in the past. That will allow us to experiment with positioning and hopefully put every player in a position to succeed,” Boswell said. “A weakness is that most of our team has not played together in the past. We will need to work on gelling as a team and build as the year goes on.”

Although the team has many new faces, they don’t lack senior leadership.
Returning seven seniors, captain defender Margaret Moore sees herself as a big sister for her younger teammates.

“This year I plan on being as encouraging as I can be towards the team because there are a lot of young girls on the team who have never played with some of us before,” Moore said. “I think we definitely need to work on our defense and how we position ourselves on the field, but that comes with time.”

Freshman Alyssa Rosales, Josie Bachus and sophomores Sarah Lendi, Claudia Pollmacher are the other underclassmen on the team

The team is 2-2 this season and knows they must continue to work hard to meet their goals as a team.

“These invite games were the first we played together as a team and we’re still not quite use to how everyone plays,” Weaver said.

The team begins conference games April 5 against Lincoln Way East on the North turf.