Winning is becoming a habit for the varsity girls soccer teams at Berean Christian School and Seminole Ridge High School.
Under the leadership of head coach Jon Iverson, the Berean varsity girls soccer team is 11-3, but is currently riding a streak of nine victories in the last 10 games. The team’s current success can be attributed to the adversity the team suffered early in the season, when it started with two wins and two losses.
According to Iverson, his team learned a great deal from those two losses.
“We do not give up, and we must play our game,” Iverson said. “After every goal, you have to just have a 0-0 mentality and try to score.”
The key to the success of the current team is its ability to control the midfield. The key midfielders for the Bulldogs are Sarah Wells, Kira Schartner and Katharina Jochem.
While controlling the flow of any given soccer match is important, it’s vital to score goals to win, and the Bulldogs are doing just that.
“I have had more girls score this year than in most years,” Iverson said. “We have had a lot of girls with three to four goals. Kat Jochem and Macy Ford are shooting machines who wear the opposing defenses down and eventually score, or the opposing defenses focus on them so much that others get opportunities.”
Another key dynamic that this year’s team has is experience in big competitive games outside of the traditional high school soccer season.
“Several of the girls started playing club soccer, and some of them are on the same team,” Iverson said. “This has given them training year-round, as well as knowing each other’s abilities and confidence in one another. In years past, we might have had one or two outstanding players, and the rest of the team always tried to give them the ball and expected them to make the big plays. This year, they all expect more and trust each other more.”
Another varsity girls soccer program in the western communities that is having a strong season is the Seminole Ridge High School team. The school’s girls varsity soccer team has yet to lose a match this season. The team has eight wins and three ties.
This year’s team is following in the footsteps of last year’s team, which was undefeated before falling in a regional final last February.
One of the keys to the success of this year’s Hawks is the leadership displayed by team captain Anaya Thomas.
“She brings hard work ethic, experience and knowing when to speak to teammates,” head coach Felipe Tribin said.
Tribin is playing college soccer at Grambling State University next year.
Four other players who are vital contributors to the Hawks’ soccer success are Lola Agosto, Aaliyah Lobo, Briana Jones and Alexa Hernandez.
Agosta is one of the team’s leading scorers, Lobo has made a number of game-changing saves as the team’s goalkeeper, and Jones and Hernandez are often shadowing the opposition’s best players.
According to Tribin, the main goal of this year’s team is to advance at least one more game than last year’s team, which graduated only three seniors.
“Essentially, it’s the same team, plus a handful of talented freshmen, who made the team along with other sophomores and juniors,” Tribin said. “We have done well in Palm Beach County. The goal this year is to be the regional champion and advance to the FHSAA’s Class 6A Final Four.”