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Coming back swinging… or kicking
Lady Raider soccer is no stranger to challenges this season
March 25, 2022
The Lady Raider soccer program has exceeded all expectations this season in spite of numerous setbacks. Despite four starters lost due to ACL tears, six forced forfeits and lots of buzz surrounding their name, they have still come back swinging.
As they open up the playoffs Friday night at home against Birdville, several seniors reflected on an amazing season.
This year’s team has had to overcome more adversity than ever before. The team has lost four starters due to ACL tears, one of them being junior Aubrey Glidwell. As Glidwell is a record-setting scorer and major asset to the team, her inability to play the rest of the season, though sad and difficult at first, has only made the team stronger.
“It was really sad, really hard, but I think we just knew that we had to work even harder to show that we are still a team,” Lily Dodson said.
Though losing players put a major strain on the team, another travesty was an error which cost the team six games, destroying their undefeated record for the season.
“We had to forfeit six games,” head coach Carl Wiersema said. “I made a mistake on a player’s eligibility and the team had to suffer. They have not been beaten on the field, however.”
Such a public mistake led to lots of backlash and buzz around the Lady Raider soccer name. The team, despite the outer turmoil, used it as inspiration to block out the noise and work even harder.
“Everyone is talking about us and maybe the possibility of not living up to everyone else’s standards,” said Ruth Vasquez when asked about the biggest obstacle to overcome.
“We just had to not listen to what everyone else was saying and just focus on ourselves,” Dodson said.
As the ladies take on the road to state, there is no doubt in their minds how their run will turn out.
“I expect us to go to state,” senior Makenzi Renfro said. “As long as we stay together and work as we’ve been doing, it doesn’t matter what we face, as long as we play as a team.”
🖤💛 It’s Game Day!!! 👀 you there!!!
Let’s go R⚽️H⚽️!!! 🖤💛
Girls play at 5:00 pm
Boys play at 7:00 pm pic.twitter.com/tU0TURUJRf
— ⚽️Lady Raiders Soccer⚽️ (@RiderHS_LRS) March 25, 2022
For seniors, such a successful season means even more than their last. While they will look back in fondness and sadness, they are all looking forward to the new chapters in their soccer careers.
“It’s bittersweet because I’m going to be sad,” Renfro said. “I’m going to miss all these girls, but I think it’s also a new beginning, now that I get to play for MSU. I’m excited for it.”
While hard work is a critical factor in the team’s success, none of it would be possible without the bond between each and every girl on the team.
“We all love each other. We do everything together” senior Jadyn Lopez said. “They’re my best friends.”
With a bond as great as this, it is no surprise this team has accomplished so much. As these seniors continue on their paths, there is no doubt they will look back on these days with pride and love.