Just one season removed from a winless soccer season, the Lady Farmers have made tremendous progress heading into district play.
First-year head coach Arian May was excited for the season when she took the head coaching reigns but said the key has been the team’s early chemistry and working together on and off the field.
“They play well as a team and compete well as a team,” May said. “Over the past month, working together and building that chemistry has been key for us and we’ve been doing a great job of it.”
Early on to start the regular season, the Lady Farmers are 7-8 on the season after dropping their first district last Saturday, Feb. 4. A season after going 0-22-1 for the full season, winning seven of their first 15 games felt like a tremendous accomplishment early on for the team.
“I think we have grown from day one,” May said. “We’re a really competitive group and our competitive spirit has shown on the field when we play. Whether it’s a school bigger or smaller than us, the girls work hard and want to win.”
A key for the Lady Farmers has been the defense. The team has surrendered one goal or less in eight of their 15 games this season, with another two games of only two goals allowed. That was something May and the coaching staff identified early in the offseason as an area to adjust, and the team is beginning to reap the rewards.
“We’re relying heavily on the defensive side of the ball,” May said. “We needed a lot of improvement in that area and over the last 14 games or so we’ve been able to take huge leaps forward on defense. As individuals and as a team it’s been great to see and will be huge in district.”
On defense, that standout performance starts in goal with Michelle Ortiz. She’s one of the most active shot-stoppers in the area, and has kept the Lady Farmers in several games this season with key saves.
“Michelle has done a tremendous job helping this team,” May said. “She gets about 5 to 15 saves per game and has worked really well with our defensive players.”
Along with Ortiz, Morgan Cobb, Lauren Hall and other defensive players have stepped up to help guide the defensive effort. The goal for the team has been for everyone to commit to the defensive side of the ball, no matter their position on the field.
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