Girls soccer team playing strong through injuries

Rachel Lovrovich, Art/Graphic Editor

Sitting on the bench, hearing the crowd cheer, the injured players watch their teammates fight for the victory without them. They sit helpless, the only way they can contribute is by rooting their team on. This is something that no athlete ever wants to experience. However, many players on the seahawk girl’s soccer team have been fighting this battle all season.

The heart of the team is strong

— Jenny Nichols

So far this season, the soccer team has had to push through multiple injuries while still managing to pull off a good start. At one point, five of the varsity team’s players were sitting on the bench. But that hasn’t stopped the team from having success.

“The heart of the team is strong. They want to win, they like each other and like to play together, and they have a real desire to finish a game. They work their tails off and they know what it means to play like a team,” varsity coach Jenny Nichols said.

Senior Allison Kopp agrees.

“We’re still playing good because we play well as a unit,” Kopp said.

Having one of the most severe injuries of the season, Kopp has been out of the game since the first day of tryouts back in August.

“I tore the plantar fascia in my right foot. There’s no arch support at all,” Kopp said.

Sitting on the bench has been difficult for Kopp and she wishes to be back on the field as soon as possible. Still recovering, Kopp hopes to return to the field in a couple weeks.

Senior Kyleigh Neighbors, who has already returned to the field, was injured last month when she was kicked in the leg. She had a deep hematoma, which is “…basically a deep bruise.”

“My entire ankle was black and blue. It was just lovely,” Neighbors said.

In response to several injuries on the varsity squad, including those of Kopp and Neighbors, Nichols has had to pull up players from the junior varsity (JV) team to varsity. However, the team has still been playing well.

“It says a lot about the JV players we’ve brought up as well the ability of my varsity players to play a full game without needing subs,” Nichols said. “If we were having results that didn’t show how good we are as a team, it would be more frustrating and more of a challenge but I think its actually almost refreshing to see some of the JV players that maybe you didn’t think were ready but possibly are or almost ready. You also really test the limits of your players, which I think is really important to do.”

Overcoming injuries has been less of a challenge than Nichols initially thought.

“I was more worried before the games. We’re playing so well that it’s not hurting us,” Nichols said.

Varsity captain Katie Campbell, who describes herself as “…one of the lucky ones,” agrees.

“We keep playing with intensity,” Campbell said. “We’re pretty self motivated, so people want to play.”

Nichols agrees with Campbell about the team’s motivation.

“Those girls just really want to play and really want to win,” Nichols said. “I think that the fact that we’ve had so much success even without all of our players actually helped because it let’s the team see how strong we are. I think that having that extra challenge is good for them to see how much potential they really have.”

As for the rest of the season, Kopp, Neighbors, Campbell and Nichols are all confident that their team is going  to the State competition.

“I feel really confident in that we will make it to State because we have been doing so well, and I feel like that has given us the confidence to play well against the harder teams,” Neighbors said.

Nichols is also very optimistic that her team will qualify for State. However, she does not know what will happen once they make it to the state tournament.

“We have a really strong league and on any given Tuesday or Thursday either team could win sometimes,” Nichols said. “I’m optimistic that we will definitely earn a spot into state but depending on who we get in the first round, we’ll see from there.”