The CVHS Girls Soccer Team plays their way up to championships


Photo Curtesy of CVHS Girls soccer team

CVHS Girls soccer team participate in the final game of the season

The sound of cleats thrashing against the grass thrashed is drowned into faint white noise by the cheers of the audience. The Carnegie girls soccer team dashed around the field. They had worked tirelessly throughout their season to be one of two teams to secure a place in the finals. 

The Carnegie Rhino Girls played hard for over an hour, in hopes of defeating the Sharpstown Apollos. In the end, the Rhinos lost 5-3. However, the lessons they made along the way proved to be just as important as the championship trophy.

“Going into the playoffs we were all really nervous; my heart was racing, and I was telling everyone- oh my God, feel my heart. It’s beating really fast,” said co-captain Mia Gonzales. 

The Carnegie girls soccer team had a rough start at the beginning of their season. It had been almost two full seasons since the team had played properly. The COVID-19 pandemic had put their season on hold, and all of the players, captains included, were feeling the effects. Many of the players at the start of the season were relearning how to juggle their school work, let alone throw soccer practices into the mix. 

“You really develop that connection with [the team] and that trust. You feel confident -with passing them the ball in a game so that way they can perform what the team wants,” said Gonzales. 

In order to play better on the field, the team had to build their trust for each other off the field as well. From the beginning of the season, all of the team players stepped up to get to know each other and build their friendship. Many players gave each other rides to games and drives home. Even the captains made sure that there were dedicated days where all of the team could hang out together to build better team relationships. 

“Team bonding helped each player know who each person is outside of the field… that gave them a sense of comfort, really knowing who they’re playing with and who they’re communicating with,” said Gonzales.

Beyond addressing communication challenges, the team had to work with each practice to not only improve collectively but also individually. Many of the players were new to soccer and had to learn the basic skills and footwork needed to play competitively. The girl’s soccer team did not shy away from that challenge and trained their players to a competitive level.

“You could really see the growth, especially our goalkeeper, who’d never even played team sports, to go to one of the most important positions on the field grew quite a bit… You can already see them gelling with their teammates. And that’s what you want to see,” said girl’s soccer coach Antonio Arredondo.

Coach Arredondo implemented constant drills from conditioning practices to ball skill exercises. He led these drills every practice along with the other drills in order to push the team to the best versions of themselves. The captains also organized routine scrimmages with each other and the Carnegie boys soccer team in order to evaluate and improve their skills and tactics. 

“They were pretty good games, we saw some weaknesses and strengths and we met in my classroom to discuss how can we probably get a move on things,” said Arredondo.

Although the team proved persistent both on and off the field, through practices, team bonding, and more; unfortunate injuries, events, and weather proved to be a hardship at their final championship game. Some players suffered from leg injuries that prevented them from fully playing to their highest potential. One of their star players, Abigail Nunez, got the opportunity to play for El Salvador in the world cup, and unfortunately couldn’t make it. The weather proved to be extremely hot on their final game day, and collectively the team felt the enormous pressure of winning. 

“ I think we went into the game too confident. I’m just kind of not ready for it to be over but I did notice a certain like, atmosphere that was just different in the way we approached the game and more than we normally did. So I think our confidence just wasn’t there, that game and that was a really crucial part of this season,” said MVP and senior player Camille Marlin

After the championship game, the team had mixed reactions. Many felt disappointed in their behavior on the field, however, others had the complete opposite reaction. Losing the championship opened an understanding to the team of why practices, commitment, and preparedness were important to every game. In the future, the team now comprehends the value of staying on track and not underestimating the other team. In the coming years the Carnegie Girls soccer team will harness the tools to not only again play their way up to finals, but also have the opportunity to finally take home the championship trophy. 

“My favorite moment was us losing the final…and I hope that in the future the players improve each other and be better leaders than the ones in the past,” said Gonzales.

Girls in red, right to left (Leah G, Camille M, Zahra T, and Marison G )