Senior Arden Zajack (Olivia Shirk)
Senior Arden Zajack

Olivia Shirk

Girls’ soccer starting season strong after last season cancelled

May 12, 2021

Like many high school sports teams, the girls’ soccer spring season was canceled in the spring of 2020 due to remote learning. But after two years since their last season, the varsity girl’s soccer team has started their season strong with a record of 5-2.

Co-captain Senior Lindsey Good has been on the team since her freshman year. After playing soccer during her freshman and sophomore year she was excited to come back for her senior season.

It felt good being back in North athletics after missing out on our last season. I was bummed last year after not being able to play, so I’m glad we are able to compete as a team in my final year of high school soccer.” Good said.

After two years away many class of 2020 seniors who had played on the same team as Good graduated, so it was difficult to find a new rhythm as a team when many underclassmen on the soccer team now were freshman during their last season.

“I thought it was a little difficult at the start to regain our “groove” as a team. There are a lot of players who I haven’t played within a year, or ever, so that has brought upon challenges regarding our flow on the field,” Good said. “However, after these past games and practices, I feel our team has connected more and has become more accustomed to all of our playing styles. After our game against Hinsdale Central and York, I felt more united as a team.”

During their home game against Leyden, the team dominated on both offense and defense and shut out the Eagles 6-0.

After their win against Leyden, co-captain senior Lindsay Ringbloom who started on the varsity team as a sophomore has high hopes for this season.

“We worked a lot that week at practice on building from the back, and making our offensive attacks stronger which definitely showed against Leyden, and since that game we’ve only improved more,” Ringbloom said.

Although the girls’ soccer team has had a lot of success in their last few seasons, the girls on the team this year did put themselves under some pressure to get back to that level after a long time of not being able to pray.

“After missing out on a year of playing at the varsity level, I certainly feel more pressure to succeed because we lost a year of high school soccer and for many of the seniors our one shot to go onto state,” Good said.

“We have expectations as a team we want to meet. I definitely can see us going far this year, we are already 4-1 and I can see good things in our team’s future which is very exciting,” Ringbloom said on May 5.

The head coach of the team Brian Papa has had many challenges of his own while coaching and social distancing. The different teams are unable to practice together and each team needs to practice with all the players together.

“Practicing separate from the rest of the program was hard because I cannot identify talent without seeing the players. Handling all the protocols for Covid was really difficult because you cannot practice the game of soccer in pods,” Coach Papa said. “If one player gets sick, then we run the risk of shutting down the whole team.”

But despite all of these challenges, the girl’s soccer team is off to a great start this season even though their 5 game winning streak ended after losing to Lyons Township Tuesday. 

“Our expectations are high. Let’s say I feel real good about this group. They are a special and talented group of girls. We have the makeup for making a legitimate run,” Papa said. “Hopefully they will allow spectators to see us play because this could be a special season to remember!”

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