Girls’ varsity soccer cruise their way to a victory despite the absence of their coach

Kylie Horstmeyer

After defeating a talented Branson Bulls team on Tuesday, Jan. 14, the girls’ varsity soccer team was feeling confident and focused leading into its game on Saturday, Jan. 18 against the Novato Hornets. The team was informed at practice the night before the game that their coach, Lucas Marroquin, would no longer be with the team. However, the surprising news did not seem to faze the Giants as they overwhelmed the Hornets with a scoring barrage on Saturday, producing a final score of 8-0. 

The scoring started early for the Giants as they went up by two in the first 10 minutes. Later in the half, the Giants scored two more goals to go into halftime with a more than comfortable lead of four goals. 

The scoring streak continued into the second half, where the girls scored four more points. The scoring streak throughout the game included goals from seven different players including Mia Curtaz, Zoe Curtaz, Maya Rembrandt, Briana Salvetti, Shannon Watridge, Kayln Dawes and senior captain Grace Bouton, who scored two of her own. 

Sprinting upfield, sophomore Avery Jones attacks Novato’s defense.

Pete Elton, a former junior varsity coach for Redwood, stepped in place for Marroquin. According to Salvetti, a sophomore, the news about their coach ended up being motivation to beat Novato. 

“[A challenge] coming into the game was probably our coach situation and not knowing how we were going to adjust to that. I feel like we played well because we used that as our [drive] towards this game,” Salvetti said. 

Junior goalkeeper Lindsay Felder says that securing a win even after the coaching change gave them a new sense of confidence going into the rest of the season.  

“We were a little bit nervous because we are playing Tam[alpais High School] on Wednesday, and not knowing who your coach [is] can be intimidating. Winning this game actually built our confidence leading into the next game,” Felder said. 

 Sophomore Avery Jones believes the Giants did an excellent job keeping possession of the ball, connecting their passes through the backline and then towards the goal, something they have been working on in practice. 

Earlier in the season when the Giants faced the Hornets on Saturday, Dec. 7, the girls sailed to an 8-1 victory. However, this time, Felder was able to secure a shutout. Jones acknowledges that Felder’s performance played an essential role in this win. 

“Lindsay played well. It was her first time starting, which is really big for her. I think a [shut out] was good for her confidence because [Lindsay] is a really big part of our team,” Jones said.

Felder acknowledges that she was not solely responsible for preventing the Hornets from scoring; having a strong backline and talented teammates around her also helped 

Another contributor to the team’s success is the bond the Giants have with each other on and off the field. According to Jones, the team has terrific chemistry, which helped them win so convincingly over the Hornets. Before their win against Novato, the Giants had a team dinner and celebrated their win afterwards with a trip to Tahoe for the three-day weekend.  

Winning the tackle, senior Hana Lefferts protects the ball from an opposing defender.

“Off the field, we are super close, which helps us to improve on the field. With our coach situation, [team bonding] is bringing us closer because we know we’ve got each other…Our pasta dinner helped motivate and get us into the mindset for the game,” Jones said.

Despite an impressive victory over the Hornets, the Giants will be tested when they face an experienced Tamalpais Red-Tailed Hawks team in their next game. The Hawks are undefeated in league play, which makes Jones and her teammates even more determined to secure a win. 

“We want to perform well and show that we can play against them because right now they’re ranked first, and we’re second. We want to give [Tamalpais] a hard fight and show that we deserve to be there,” Jones said.

The Giants will take on the Red-Tailed Hawks this Wednesday, Jan. 22.