The Oyster River girls varsity soccer team looks to capitalize on a strong finish to the regular season as they take on Kearsarge in their first playoff game today at 3:00 at home.
After a 9-7-1 season, with five wins in their last six games, they hope to put their inconsistent record behind them. Charlotte Cousins (22’) has been a key player this season, and said that the team has been working hard to prepare for the matchup. “We’ve been having longer practices and we’ve extended the amount of time where we’re working on things and we’ve brought up a lot of JV players to have more numbers in scrimmages. We’ve also been having more video review sessions to look at our opponents and how they’re playing, so we’re prepared for their setup.”
As Alden Swiesz reported in his fall sports playoff preview, varsity player Lizzy Robinson-Kiang (‘22) said that she felt the team had been lacking motivation and energy at some points during the season.
Cousins expanded upon this, reflecting on a loss from a past game. “We thought we had it in the bag because they had lost to a lot of teams we had already beaten. It was their senior night, so we thought that it would be much easier to win. We ended up actually losing by one, probably because we came out a little cocky and underprepared.”
Though the season has had its ups and downs, head coach Cyd Scarano has put emphasis on creating bonds with the players.
Evi Fisher (‘20), one of three seniors on the team, reflected on her relationship with Scarano. “She is one of the most influential people in my life currently because I’ve never had a coach like her who actually cares about players and who makes personal connections with each of them.”
This relationship was especially clear at the girls game against Kennett on October 17th, when they played the seniors’ final home game of the regular season. Fisher said: “[Scarano] relayed to me that she just didn’t want to see us go. She wanted to see us to the end and she was like, ‘we better have four more games left.’”
They ended up beating Kennett with a score of 2-0.
“It finally hit me that I will never most likely never play soccer again on this home turf. And it kind of threw me back into all my past four years and it’s just kind of sad to bluntly put it. It’s just sad. It’s like, where has the time gone, you know?” said Fisher
It was a big moment for all the girls to play their senior night. “I was excited and sad that it was going to be my last game on my home field […] It didn’t feel real. I knew this was coming since I’m a senior but it is just so weird. Sometimes I still feel like a freshman,” said Khan
Because the girls team made it into the playoffs this season it means that it wasn’t truly their last home game, however it still was an emotional moment for the graduating girls. “Before I had even had my first high school class I was practicing and working out with the soccer team over the summer. I met so many different people that I may not have connected with if it weren’t for soccer,” said Khan
Fisher added, “the amount of support I receive from the non seniors was incredible. I was so overcome with how much thought and time went into creating beautiful posters and the gifts. I would walk by one of them in the hallway and they would give me a hug. We normally do game day high fives […] they were just so sweet!” said Fisher.
“It all felt so surreal. It was like I finally reached this moment that I have watched the seniors in the past complete and now it was finally me and it was just hard to be like ‘oh this is my last year with this team.’ It still doesn’t feel real.”
As the girls look to make a deep playoff run, Fisher finds motivation through her relationship with Scarano. “I have to see it to the end because it’s not just for me, it’s for her too.”
Photo by Cathi Stetson