Girls soccer starts off undefeated


Jacob Alik

Varsity soccer player, senior Sydney Leinberger, surges through Liberty’s defense. Tigard won the Sept. 27 game 5-0.

By Olivia Niemi and James Favot

The girls varsity soccer team kicked off the season with an undefeated streak, now ranked ninth in the state with an overall record of 8-1. It was a superb fresh start for a team with new coaches, new players, and a new mindset altogether.

This year, the girls soccer team is adapting to an entirely new set of coaches, including varsity coach Gabe Tatz and head coach Duccio Tagiaferri. Tagiaferri, who previously coached at Tualatin High, is adjusting to the new Tigard atmosphere. “It’s a different dynamic, different players, different backgrounds,” he said. “We have some very good and talented players which makes my job a bit easier.” Both coaches have appreciated getting to know the team, especially with such a victorious start.

The new coaches are working to bring a lot to the team besides their expertise on the sport. “We try to do a lot of stuff off the field and reward them when they’ve done well,” Tatz said. While there is always room for improvement, the team is going into the season with an optimistic outlook.

“Instead of focusing on what we did wrong in past seasons, we are moving on and towards what we can do now, which is play as a team,” Captain senior Ava Damis said. “We’ve always had the potential to be a great team but our mindset was holding us back.” Now, Damis says, the team is determined to work with a greater sense of unity than before.

Up until the eighth game of the season against St. Mary’s, the girls’ team had been undefeated with only one goal scored against them. Although the loss of their streak may seem like a setback, the girls are taking it as a learning opportunity. “I think that although we have lost our winning streak, it will ultimately help us because of what we were able to realize from it,” Damis said. “Every game is a big game, no matter the opponent.”

Even while busy bonding with their new coaches, the team has played strong this season overall. “It’s been super fun,” Tatz said. “I couldn’t really ask for a better start than how the season started.” When they’re not on the field, the girls’ team is planning various fun activities to do throughout the season, such as cooking pasta with Tagiaferri.

With the season halfway over, every player is working hard to make the most of the second half. “I think the rest of the season will for sure be a better competition for us than preseason and that will make it more fun,” junior Riley White said. High spirits and motivation are driving this team to play hard until the very end.

The big games are just as enjoyable to students coming to watch and support the players as they are to the team itself. “The Tualatin game was the most exciting game so far; Gabby scored a pair of insane goals,” senior John Freudenthal said. Player or not, everyone seems to be having a blast watching the girls rise up the leaderboard.

Needless to say, their winning streak strongly helped to boost the morale of players, coaches, and fans alike. “I’m very happy and very pleased to be here and be a part of Tigard,” Tagiaferri said. Regardless of how the season plays out from here, one thing’s for sure. The girls’ team will carry their determined attitude with them into every last game.