Girls JV Soccer Embraces New Leadership

As the weather grows colder, the Girls JV Soccer team brings a warm energy to the field with its confidence and genuine camaraderie.
Creating a strong team bond has been one of the major focus points of the team this year, particularly in integrating new lowerclass students with returners. After graduating ten Seniors, Girls JV Soccer aspires to continue its success from prior years and integrate the new lowerclass students into the team. Nicole Morikawa ’21, a returning Upper Mid, said, “Mr. [Thomas] Herold [P’17 ’20] encourages us to be friends on and off the field and to talk with each other during half-time as well as after games. We also have team dinners and meetings before games to get to know each other more, so friendship happens pretty naturally on the team.”
The team underwent a coaching change, with Herold replacing former faculty member Patrick Boor as head coach. With yet another new coach, the team has grown accustomed to working with and learning from different leaders, but looks forward to more consistency in the future.
As a member of the faculty for the past 20 years, Herold provides long-term insight that will help the team grow. Co-captain Julia Willett said, “Mr. Herold has elevated the team this year by encouraging us to work hard, not just for ourselves but for our teammates. He has pushed us to

If you know your teammates, you trust and rely on them during practices, and that translates to games.

— Nicole Morikawa '21

be tough and to always come ready to do our best despite the weather or the strengths of the other team.”
A significant part of fostering the family feeling of the team is building a close group dynamic. Key to gaining this trust is having confidence in the team as a whole, but also in player’s individual abilities. The team prioritizes bringing players together and getting to know one another, especially at the start of the season. Morikawa said, “We really want to work on this, because if you know your teammates, you trust and rely on them during practices, and that translates to games. I believe this is what helps the whole team work as a unit and be successful.”
Girls JV Soccer endeavors to bring the team together through its practice methods, as well. The team has developed a solid set of basic skills, including dribbling, ball control, and movement. These technical abilities carry over into scrimmages during practice. Drills also serve as a way to build endurance and focus on multiple aspects of the game at once. The team places emphasis on carefully aiming the ball, using shooting drills such as “Lightning,” a team favorite, to improve these skills. In Lightning, players shoot; if they miss, they are out, and if they hit the crossbar, then the out players would come back in. The team also stresses the importance of being mindful on the field, as the players need to get to open space and be able to make decisions on the fly.
The team currently sits with a 5-2 record, and plans on improving its efforts to come away with more wins leading up to its game on Taft Day. A big challenge will come this week, as the team looks to secure a win this Saturday in its away game against Kingswood Oxford.