Girls soccer sweeps KingCo despite injuries, builds community

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Girls soccer sweeps KingCo despite injuries, builds community

Sonya Sheptunov, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Despite having four athletes dealing with past ACL injuries, girls soccer sweeps KingCo with seven wins, zero losses, and three draws. Senior captain Kaycie Suzuki discusses how the team achieved their victory.

“Even though we might not be as precise or as popular as boys sports currently are, we still have each other and we constantly empower each other, because we don’t need [boys].” Suzuki said.

Aside from their victories on the field, the team works to foster an environment of women supporting women.

“No matter what, everyone bonds, everyone gets super close.” senior captain Rachel Conchi said. 

This supportive environment helps the team get through their games and stresses the importance of community and team-bonding. Despite the cool public reception, girls soccer plays on.

“We’re always trying to build each other up because we know that just criticizing each other and tearing each other down is not how we’re going to win games,” Suzuki said.

Suzuki remarks on the current popularity of boys sports at Inglemoor and in the current political climate.

“In today’s high school environment, boys sports are so heavily emphasized, right? Everyone goes to football games… boys basketball games… boys soccer games, but you’ll hardly ever see a packed stand [for girls].” Suzuki said.

Despite Suzuki’s (and other players’) continued recovery, they’ve improved over their 2018 record– three wins, draws and losses, respectively.

“Taking time off when you’re injured makes you appreciate it more, because you miss it,” Conchi said. “I think that’s definitely helped to keep my interest because [I] haven’t been able to consistently play.”

ACL injuries take anywhere from nine to 12 months to heal, and like Conchi, Suzuki relates to the frustration of wanting to play but not being able to. It’s that very frustration that brings them both back to the sport year after year.

“Being a senior captain and having to sit out most of the games has been one of the most painful things that I think I’ve ever experienced…  Honestly, [it] hurts emotionally more than actually tearing my ACL.” Suzuki said. “Not being able to contribute the way that I typically would has been a really painful and long process.”

Aside from the community the team fosters among themselves, the girls also have the support of their coach, Kent Nelke

“We know he really cares about us and like actually wants us to do well. And he’s invested in us and our season and us as players and individuals… I think that’s really cool.” Conchi said.