With losses to Farmington Harrison 2-1 on May 13 and Groves 2-0 on May 15, the varsity girls soccer team is currently in second place for the league.
“I don’t know what it is, but we’re completely dominating the games and the other teams keep getting lucky goals and we just can’t come back,” senior wide forward Lily Slavin said.
However they can still place first in the league if they win their game Friday. The Lady Maples (9-4-1) are also looking towards a run in the district playoffs in a few weeks.
“This year for playoffs, we pulled Southfield Lathrup for the first round,” Slavin said.“We have already played them and won twice in our regular season, so we are confident in our ability to beat them again.”
As the single-elimination playoffs progress, the girls expect the teams to be more challenging.
“We’ve only played against half the teams in the lineup, so there’s no knowing how strong the other teams will be,” Slavin said.
The Lady Maples are not letting that discourage them. They’re confident that their teamwork and balance across the field will help them throughout the playoffs.
“Our team’s biggest strength is how well we work together,” junior defense Hannah Haley said.“The defense, midfield, and forward are individually really strong.”
“Our team chemistry will help us a lot during playoffs, because a lot of times the team that wants the game more comes out the winner,” Slavin said.“You see a lot of teams, especially in high school season, that just don’t play well together. This hasn’t been a problem for our team this year, so hopefully we will be able to dominate other teams in this aspect.”
One reason for the unification of the team is new varsity head coach Manny Rodrigues.
“He’s really trying to make this a fun and memorable year, and it’s showing on the field,” Slavin said.
Rodrigues, who was born near London, implements a more European style of playing.
“We play a possession game, as opposed to just booting the ball up the middle,” Rodrigues said. “[We also play] a composure game which is don’t panic. Pass the ball around, move to the spaces, and take your time.”
According to Haley, the new style has allowed them to take advantage of competition throughout the season.
Rodrigues believes that the reason for the success is not just the new techniques, but the skill level of the players.
“The success is because the girls are good,” Rodrigues said. “I think all they needed was just a little bit of prodding, just to help them. Because the talent is clearly there.”
Among the talent is senior captain Lisa White who has 49 saves as goalie, junior center forward JBess Ruby with 12 goals and 13 assists and junior forward Jennifer Kendall with 10 goals and 8 assists.
Both Rodrigues and the players have similar goals for this season.
“Our goals for the season are to enjoy the game while still working hard, that way we can make a name for Seaholm among other great soccer teams,” Haley said.
The other goal is advancing as far as they can in districts, and Coach Rodrigues believes they could go all the way.
“We’ll win districts, that’s my plan,” Rodrigues said. “And then there’s regionals and anything can happen. “
“My goals for the season are to win the league and advance in districts,” Slavin said. “It would be extremely rewarding to have all our hard work pay off.”