Pictured: Varsity soccer captains Maddie Olvert ’21, Olivia Webster ’21, Ava Strohmeyer ’21, and Lizzy Strapp ’21.
Article written by Sarah Shaw ’23 and Liv Webster ’21
Each week throughout the fall, we will highlight one of our nine teams that normally have a very traditional competition season. Due to coronavirus and our safety protocols and guidelines that we have implemented and are closely following, our competitions have been severely modified, and in most cases, eliminated.
Like the rest of our programs, varsity soccer looks a little different this year when it comes to the COVID-19 restrictions for the fall season. Despite the challenges of not having a normal competitive season of games in the Founders League and competing in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) tournament, varsity soccer is working through it with grace. Coached by Michael Smith and Karl Schwoerke and captained by seniors Olivia Webster, Maddie Olvert, Lizzy Strapp, and Ava Strohmeyer, the team has been working together to create a competitive environment that helps each girl grow as a player and a teammate.
This year, varsity soccer has been creating intramural competition with the Wildcat Games; each captain has a small team of girls for small-group daily competitions, which include soccer golf, sprints across the field, and soccer tennis. Coaches Smith and Schwoerke keep track of the points earned for individuals and each small team score. The team with the most points wins for that day, but the points accumulate for a season winner to be determined in November. Captain Liv says, “By doing this kind of activity, it gives us the opportunity to feel like we are competing for something, like winning a game. It helps keep everyone’s competitive spirit high!”
As well as the Wildcat Games, the team has also been working hard in areas like speed and agility. Each day is designated to different focuses, such as conditioning, by running full-field sprints or partnering up for quickness and agility drills like variations of “fast feet”. Points can be earned throughout the week by completing the sprint exercises without stopping or top performances.
Sarah Shaw ’23 says, “Soccer golf is probably our favorite right now. Flags and cones are set up around the entire complex and the goal of the game is to hit a long distance ball closest to the flag as possible, eventually hitting it. It is harder than it looks! Fridays are the best kinds of days because they’re more laid back, less stressful, and we can relax but also work on our striking skills.”
Coach Smith reflects, “I have been so impressed with the attitudes and efforts of all the players. They have done a great job adapting to the uniqueness of the fall season. Our exceptional parents have also been crucial in helping create some fun team bonding opportunities.”
Captain Liv adds, “As players, we encourage one another to fulfill our goals of acting like a cohesive unit and working together. We focus on being humble, hardworking, and determined. As teammates, we push one another in individual competitions. You can always hear shouts of encouragement no matter what we are doing. Our bond as a team continues to grow stronger this season as we hold Friday movie nights and team dinners. Coach Smith truly has been instrumental in bringing the team and their respective families together for a challenging season.”
Coach Schwroerke says, “The captains have been crucial, fulfilling their adjusted role, admirably. We are all so proud of one another and how each player has adapted to unprecedented soccer practices and competition. We hope to get on the field soon, but are grateful to be with one another regardless!”