Girls’ soccer on ball for winning season

Elan McMinn, Sports Editor

The ball rolls down the back of the net marking another goal for the LBJ girls’ varsity team. Starting the season with two wins and two losses, they look forward to the rest of the season.

The 2019 season has just begun, but Head Coach Morgan Ticknor has already seen a few strong performances from the her varsity team. In one game specifically, Ticknor noticed improvements in her players that led to the one of the team’s best games so far.

“The best game we have had was against a school called Bowie High School from Arlington, Texas,” Ticknor said. “We played them in our tournament at the beginning of the season. Every girl on the team played hard, aggressive and didn’t give up. We ended up losing 3-2, but I was proud of them.”

Ticknor understands everyone has specific skills, but she believes as a team, there is a lot to work on. One of the things she believes is most important is team chemistry.

“Each athlete on our team has a lot of individual talent,” Ticknor said. “They are aggressive, strong and have a lot of drive. But we haven’t learned to work as a team yet. Individual talent can only take you so far; in order to win, we have to work together. “

Varsity player and LASA junior Whitney Waldinger and varsity player and LASA senior Becca Brackin both agree it will take some time to get used to playing with a new team. According to Waldinger, the team has what it takes to do well in district play.

“I think that our biggest weakness right now is that we have a new team this year, so we are working on gaining trust among the team to all work together to hopefully dominate in our division,” Waldinger said. “We have been improving in the past couple of games, and there has been evidence that we are slowly overcoming that problem.”

Though Brackin agrees individual skills are strong, Brackin believes they still have to work together.

“The team has a lot of girls with a lot of good technical skills, but sometimes, we struggle working as a team on the field, especially since we have a lot of new players,” Brackin said.

According to Brackin, practice has only helped bring the team closer together, and they are seeing the results, even though it’s early in the season.

“As the season has progressed, everyone has gotten a lot closer, and I think we are communicating a lot better,” Brackin said. “So far we’ve played some of our hardest rivals, so we’ve lost a couple of games. However, as we’ve practiced more, we are starting to pull off more wins.”

Waldinger and Brackin cite the McCallum soccer team as a rival, and according to Waldinger, the team played one the their best games against them.

“McCallum was such a hard game, but the team played super well,” Waldinger said. “Even though we lost, we played our best and didn’t lose momentum despite the score.”

Waldinger believes the team’s relative success has been fueled by a few key players.

“Anissa Cantao is the star player of our midfield and pretty much our offense,” Waldinger said.

Brackin credits a lot of their success to their goalie.

“One of our biggest contributors to the team is our goalie, Sophia Takvorian,” Brackin said. “She’s a dedicated player and has saved us more times than I can count.

Ticknor acknowledges the hard work of star players, but attributes much to the team’s captains because of their responsibility to the team.

“Some big contributors are my two captains, Anna Frey and Isabel Cartwright,” Ticknor said. “They stay motivated and motivate their teammates.”

According to Ticknor, the season is on track for overall good season, and she believes there will be lots of chances to improve the team.

“My expectations are for the girls to find their stride, learn to work well as a team and have a winning season,” Ticknor said.