Girls’ soccer wins first two SPC counter games

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Girls’ soccer wins first two SPC counter games

The team gathers for a pregame huddle.

The team gathers for a pregame huddle.

Monica Heal

The team gathers for a pregame huddle.

Monica Heal

Monica Heal

The team gathers for a pregame huddle.

The Mavericks have not lost a game since November, and a perfect January has moved the team into the SPC conversation.

The Mavericks began the 2018 part of their schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 10 against the Awty International Rams. The Mavs won 6-0, but the game was not as easy as the final score indicates.

One of the Mavs key players, center midfielder Zoe Toy, fell and hurt her ankle. “It was a very aggressive game,” left defender Erin Oldham said, “but it was a good way to come back from winter break.”

The Mavs notched an even easier win on Jan. 19, when they defeated the John Cooper Dragons, 7-1.

In between these two lopsided victories, the team took a three-hour bus ride to compete against the Spartans of St. Stephen’s Episcopal of Austin in the first counter game, Jan. 12.

Having defeated St. Stephen’s 4-0 last season, the Mavs went into the game prepared and confident despite playing on the road.

“Before every game, we gather in a circle to listen to inspirational words from midfielder Lilah Gaber,” goalkeeper Laurel McKelvey said. “Camila Sabisky will occasionally chip in with, ‘If you don’t slide tackle because you are scared to get dirty, I will push you over myself.’”

In practices, the Mavs create new plays and formulate strategies. Their main tactic this season focuses on the first five minutes of every game to establish a lead and wear down opponents early. As planned, sophomore Laurel Williamson scored the first goal against St. Stephen’s in the first few minutes.

“Being scored on that early can really defeat a team’s energy.” McKelvey said. “Thankfully, we were able to hold St. Stephen’s off for the second half.”

After extending the lead to 2-0, the Spartans cut the deficit in half, forcing the Mavericks to hang on for the last 30 minutes.

“We had to work hard as a team and really work for each other,” Oldham said. “On the field, you can tell that we work well together because, although everyone is not a part of every play, in the end everyone contributes to the game.” 

At the final blow of the referee’s whistle, the Mavericks stormed the field to celebrate their 2-1 win. 

“I hugged all of my defenders, and I hate hugs,” McKelvey said. “That’s how happy I was.”