Calvert Girls Soccer Looking to Maintain Recent Success
Calvert's girls soccer team has established itself as one of the top teams in both the MPSSAA 2A South region, and the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
The Cavaliers have had a tremendous string of success in recent season. In 2014, Calvert won the 2A state title, the first for the school in the sport. Last year, the team won the 2A south region title for the second straight year, before it fell in the state semifinals to Wilde Lake, 3-1.
2016 looks like it will be another year featuring a strong Calvert girls soccer team. The team bested La Plata 3-2 in overtime in the team's opener, before cruising past Thomas Stone, winning 6-0.
"La Plata is a very experienced, tough team that took us to PK's in our region last year and they came out ready to play," head coach John Baker said. "I would've liked to have had a more challenging preseason to prepare us for the tough teams in our league, and believe we will start rounding into shape over the next two matches in time for our game with Huntingtown."
This year the group is a blend of youth and experience. The Cavaliers hold six sophomores and six freshman on their roster this season, but also possess three juniors and two seniors that were on the 2014 state championship winning team.
The upperclassmen have been key to Calvert's team getting acclimated to one another so quickly. Senior captains Sydney Watson and Lauren Miller, as well as junior captains Camryn Williams and Calle Garneau, set the tone early for the younger members of the group in the offseason that Cavaliers girls soccer is a serious business.
"This group started conditioning and weight training in June at the school two to three days a week. They've also done multiple team bonding events like foot golf and mission escape the room to get us ready for the season," Baker said. "Those events and training really got us off on the right path."
That team chemistry will be key if Calvert wants to succeed like it has in recent seasons.
Calvert plays a possession style of play that is unique in high school soccer. A lot of teams will take a more direct route, trying to push forward whenever receiving the ball. The Cavaliers prefer to hold the ball and build up play.
In order to succeed playing that style, it is essential each player on the team knows their role as well as positioning on the field.
"We stress valuing the possession of the ball and remaining disciplined on defense in all thirds of the pitch," Baker said. "When we are playing at a high level we maintain possession of the ball and move through the pitch with a purpose, practicing patience on the ball."
Looking ahead, it looks like it'll be another season filled with difficult opponents for Calvert.
The SMAC is filled with tough teams, including fellow Calvert County schools Northern and Huntingtown, as well as Charles County's North Point High School and Leonardtown from St. Mary's County, which was a 4A state finalist last season. Of those teams, Calvert is the only team competing in a classification smaller than 3A for the playoffs.
The difficult regular season has Baker hoping his Cavaliers will be prepared for the postseason. He has high hopes for the season- the team has a lot of fun playing together, which to him, is a big reason for the team's success and why the Cavaliers can aim to achieve big goals.
"We want to represent our county well and bring home another 2A state title," Baker said.
|September 12th, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|