Young and Hungry

Girls’ Soccer Team Looks to Make It Back to CCS


Maribel Rios

Against Rancho San Juan, freshman Stephanie Zarate scored the second goal, her fifth of the season, in a 2-0 win.

2021-2022 was a tough season for the girls’ varsity soccer team. They finished 8-5-4 overall. “Last year was difficult,” Coach Carissa Purnell said. “I think everybody was impacted by covid, right,  so we struggled just keeping girls healthy and safe and it wasn’t necessarily as fun and I don’t think it was as competitive as it usually is and this year we had over 100 girls come to try out. This year everybody really wants to be here.” 

With four of their top players leaving, the team was on the lookout for new goal scorers. Luckily, incoming freshman Stephanie Zarate was up for the challenge. With four goals against Monte Vista Christian in their 5-0 season opener. “I feel that for our first game we did well,” Zarate said.

After their first win in the Watsonville Tournament, the Lady Trojans took two losses, both 1-2, against Rancho San Juan and Santa Cruz, and fell 0-3 to Woodside. Only three days later, the ladies came back beating Rancho San Juan 2-0. Purnell believes they can make it to CCS, but improvement can definitely be made. “I think just in general everyone’s attitude is a little bit better and we actually have half the team be freshman, so the varsity squad looks a little different,” she said. ”So there’s been a lot more energy than there has been in the past so in terms of improvements, just learning how to work together as a team.”

As far as improvement, Giselle Zamora believes the team can be better as a whole. “Yes, there are improvements that can be made, such as communication throughout the team and I think just playing together and being on the same page.” Zamora says.

As the majority of the team is freshmen, they view the older teammates as someone to listen to. Each individual provides something to the team whether it is their skills or their positive mindset. Zamora provides both. “I think I provide, I don’t know I’d like to say someone to look up to,” she said “I just really try to make everyone feel included and make sure that everybody feels welcomed and that it is a team and not a competition. I just try to bring everyone together.” 

Despite their rocky start, there is hope for them. Through six games the team is 2-3-1. Purnell believes they can absolutely make it to CCS. “ The league changed a little bit this year, so Christopher, who has always been one of our biggest rivals, moved to a different league,” she said. This year we’re really looking forward to playing against Salinas, but I think we’re definitely going to finish on top this season.”