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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

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Girls soccer ends their season with confidence, commitment

Girls+soccer+shows+their+camraderie+before+their+Senior+Night+game+%7C+Photo+courtesy+of+Mia+Seto
Girls soccer shows their camraderie before their Senior Night game | Photo courtesy of Mia Seto

   On Feb. 10, the Gabrielino varsity girls soccer team lost their second game of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) championship tournament against Colton High School, 1-5. 

   “We all had a lot of nerves because it was our second round and we all really wanted to win,” stated junior Anabel Villanueva, girls soccer captain and midfielder. “I think the nerves really did get to us, it came out on the field.”

   Colton scored two goals in the first half, leaving Gabrielino discouraged but determined to clean up how they positioned themselves against their opponents.

   “At the end of it, we were all proud of ourselves,” said junior Mia Seto, captain and center back. “Just to make it to CIF and win a game, go onto the next round, the whole experience, we were all proud of ourselves.”

   The game marked the end of girls soccer’s season.

   “We’ve improved a lot from the beginning of this season, so I’m really excited to see how our team is going to adjust this year,” Villanueva said. “Especially compared to other teams, I feel like we have a good advantage next year.”

   The Eagles’ match against Colton followed their playoff game against Samueli Academy on Feb. 8, which they won 2-0. 

   “It’s a lot of communication, and we definitely defended their stronger players really well,” stated junior Lauren Lam, who plays center defense. “We figured out what their formation was and how we can counter that.”

   The score was 0-0 at halftime, pushing the team to play more aggressively in the second half. The Eagles’ first goal was a corner kick, served by freshman Sydney Tran and headed in by Lam.

   “When I saw the ball ricochet off the goal post, and when it was coming towards me, I was like, ‘This is my moment’,” Lam described.

   Gabrielino’s second goal was scored by junior Olivia Simpson-Castaneda, a right winger. 

   “We just played how we know how to play,” said Simpson-Castaneda. “Be aggressive, everything that we can do to get the ball in the back of the net.”

Anabel Villanueva fights to keep the ball from an Arroyo player in their Senior Night game (Bren Belmonte)

   Gabrielino made it to CIF after placing third in the Mission Valley League. They secured their spot after winning their senior night game 3-1 against Arroyo High School on Feb. 1.

   “Something clicked,” Villanueva described. “Everyone’s mindset changed and everyone was working with each other. I was like, oh my gosh, I’ve never seen this side of the team before.”

   All three goals were scored by freshman Sydney Tran, a striker.

   “During the game, basically what happens every game, I just block out everything,” Tran said. “I forgot that it was just a regular game. Just playing is what I love.”

   In January, girls soccer’s record was 4-1-2. Their biggest loss was against Marshall High School on Jan. 16, 0-3.

   “If we go in with a good attitude, we can hold our ground and stand our ground,” stated Villanueva. “And we did for a while. I think things just slipped and we got out of focus during the second half.”

   During the game, Seto sprained her ankle, requiring other players to change their positions. Injuries is a challenge the team has faced throughout the season, forcing new players to adapt quickly.

   “That was one of the hardest parts of my season,” Seto said. “I had to train my mind to tell myself, ‘you’re gonna get better and it’ll take time but you just have to put in the work that you can right now.’”

   Girls soccer has high hopes for their next season, as many players will be more experienced. They continue to work on being aggressive, keeping a positive mindset, and communicating with each other.

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About the Contributors
Sophia Pu, Editor in Chief
Sophia Pu is the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper, marking her fourth year with the team. Outside of her editorial duties, Sophia is involved in Speech and Debate and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her commitment to the newspaper grew from a passion for interviewing a diverse range of individuals she might not have interacted with otherwise.
Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer
Bren Belmonte is a Photographer and Staff Writer with three years of experience on our newspaper team. Outside of journalism, Bren enjoys cosplaying, photographing friends, reading manga, watching anime, and listening to music. Bren chose the journalism class in sophomore year after encouragement from family members in the industry. Since then, they've recognized it as a future passion and career interest.
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