Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls Soccer celebrate winning seasons

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Photo courtesy of Visual Image Photography.

   The Girls Soccer Varsity and Junior Varsity teams completed a shortened season of ten regular-season games this year. The varsity team finished with a season record of  six wins, four losses, and one tie. The season ended June 1 in a loss against McHenry. The JV team’s season record was seven wins and three losses.

   In her sixth season as Girls Varsity Coach, Ms. Katie Barnett has built the Varsity and Junior Varsity teams based on skill and experience, as well as players’ attitude, work ethic, coachability, and athleticism. Coach Barnett has adapted, like other coaches, to this year’s challenging pandemic restrictions.

   “The sport and the game are the same, but Covid restrictions have changed some of the rules at games and some of the team or social aspects of the season,” said Coach Barnett. “For example, one coach from each team and the referees are the only ones who meet for a pre-game coin toss, whereas before, captains and coaches from each team joined and shook hands and participated in the coin toss. Another example of differences is that we don’t shake hands with the opponents after the game, which feels a bit impersonal. Of course, masks, distancing, and having to document details of games and practices is all a new element to the sports season.”

   There are nineteen players on the Varsity team. Junior Varsity Coach Chris Reyenga has eighteen players. 

   “This season we were in tough head-to-head competition with Freeport, Hononegah, and Boylan especially,” said Coach Barnett. “As the varsity girls approach the post-season, all of our competition is going to be a challenge!” 

   The Varsity team will play McHenry first in Regionals.

   The JV team showed significant improvement from previous years. Many JV players had improved their skills, and more girls on the team helped increase the team’s depth.

   “This season is different but by far the best soccer season I have had in my high school career,” said Tristin Prather, junior, who is in her third year playing with Guilford.

   Prather chose number seven for her jersey because it has always been her lucky number since she was little. She is co-captain of the JV team with junior Charlene Vera. At the time of this interview, Vera stated that the team’s biggest challenges this year included Belvidere North, Hononegah, and especially Boylan. Although the JV team lost to Boylan and Hononegah, they were successful in beating Belvidere North. 

   “Probably my favorite moment of the season was when the East girls kept kicking the ball towards us,” Vera said, regarding some errors the East High School JV team made that helped the Vikings win that game.

   Lali Lavariega, sophomore, agreed that the East game was a highlight of the season. For Lavariega, this season is also about the future.

   “This season is different but by far the best soccer season I have had in my high school career,” Lavariega said. “Personally my hope is getting a scholarship to play soccer.”