Soccer bounces back after predictably shaky start, tough losses

HEADSTRONG: Bracing for impact, senior captain Ally Wojick heads the ball. Wojick is going on to play Division I soccer at Northern Arizona University.

John Adkisson, co-Sports Editor

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Early into the 2013 season, the women’s varsity soccer team has amassed a record of 6-4. After a year that saw the Titans place fourth in State, head coach Seong Ha expects things to pick up from here on out.

“I’m not surprised with where we are right now,” Ha said. “It’s not that I don’t have high expectations, it has just been tough with the weather we have been having to get good training sessions in […] but the girls have handled it very well; they’ve made the best of the time that has been given.”

Ha acknowledges that a repeat of last year is certainly no easy task, but he feels that the ripeness of the team this year will prove to lend itself to future success.

“The girls don’t want to settle on, ‘We’ve been there and done that for the past two, three years, it’s going to happen again,’” Ha said. “I’m very pleased with the maturation and how they’ve handled themselves, understanding that they’re not going to be complacent in reaching their goals.”

According to Ha, his Titans are traditionally slow starters, which makes their uncanny 5-4 record okay, especially because the two losses have come to New Trier and Loyola, who he feels are two of the best teams in the state. Despite the loss to New Trier April 2, a late surge from South at the end of the game is exactly the potential the squad can show, according to Ha.

“Yeah, we didn’t get the result that we wanted, but they really competed; they really stepped it up to a whole other level,” Ha said.

Senior goalie Emma Sailer agrees that the home stretch of the New Trier game was very positive and showed a side of the team she expects to see moving forward.

“Getting a goal back is something we really wanted when we were down for seven-eighths of the game,” Sailer said. “That says a lot about our team – to show that we’re working that hard in the 70th minute.”

According to Sailer, sophomore Kaily Bruch has been an extraordinarily valuable asset to the team this year despite being a young player.

“I think [Bruch] is such a solid player,” Sailer said. “We don’t look at her as a sophomore by any means. She is definitely one of the hardest-working players on the team.”

Additionally, Ha feels that senior April Cronin is the main attacking target this year. A Division I committee at Valporaiso University, Ha sees her as not only a goal-scoring threat, but a valuable teammate.

“[Cronin] is a very unselfish player, and she’s very cognizant of the fact that she is going to be the showcase piece of our team,” Ha said. “[However], she doesn’t  come off cocky, she doesn’t come off in a way where she  is like, ‘You know what, I’m the show.’”

Despite their intermediate success, the Titans fell to York High School in the third round of the Pepsi Cup 1-3 April 11. South is also currently 1-1 in Conference, with games vs. Maine South April 23 and Waukegan April 25.

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