Though girl’s soccer came in third place overall in Ocean League and had high hopes for CIF, the team unfortunately fell short of their goals. After winning their first game in CIF against Laguna High School on Feb. 17, Samo lost shortly after in the second round against South Torrance on Feb. 22.
According to coach Jimmy Chapman, though the season was not their best, Samo played well and put in a fierce effort during their last game.
“Our season is over,” Chapman said. “The season has had its highs and lows, and though we did not beat South Torrance, we played well.”
Chapman said that although the team played to the best of their abilities, an accidental shot into their own goal put them behind.
“We had an own goal early on, which put us in a hole,” Chapman said. “After that, we just couldn’t put anything together.”
According to sophomore player Marie Salem, the own goal was what gave South Torrance the edge against Samo.
“South Torrance, being the 20th team in the state, put away two quick goals,” Salem said. “Our level of play started to drop after that, but we never gave up. We left it all out on the field, for our seniors.”
Despite their loss, Chapman said he can congratulate South Torrance for playing so well against Samo.
“A lot of credit should go to South Torrance, who played very well and capitalized on our mistakes,” Chapman said. “They have the potential to win CIF.”
Salem is disappointed by the loss and the end of the season, but says the fact that Samo has come as far as they have shows their true potential.
“I am personally very disappointed because after round one [of CIF] our team had a lot of momentum, but we could not capitalize against South Torrance,” Salem said. “Although we are disappointed we did not get as far as we wanted to in the playoffs, we are happy with our winning season and how far we have come.”
Prior to CIF, the team had experienced disappointment with their 3rd place position in league. According to Chapman, Samo has won the league for the past ten years. Chapman said that the season has been disappointing for a number of reasons, seeing as the team has not held themselves to the high standards expected of them.
“Given our dominance in the league for the past decade, I believe we underperformed,” Chapman said. “We had some victories and disappointments in the season, but there seem to be fewer victories and more disappointments this year.”
According to co-captain Kristen Vasquez, their performance is a result of the team’s lack of focus on their own strategies and plays.
“I feel that this year we were more focused on rivalries and distracted by the other teams than ourselves which really hurt our results,” Vasquez said. “We are a good team and have much potential, and personally I don’t feel like our results in league represent how we played and where we stand as a team.”
Vasquez says that although the loss in Ocean League was a let down, it by no means the end. According to Vasquez, even though it may be disappointing for graduating seniors, the team can still appreciate aspects of the season beyond their league title.
“Being a senior, of course I’m disappointed about having my last season be the worst Samo has had, but the girls’ side has won it for so long that I feel like we should be looking forward to more than a league title,” Vasquez said. “Eventually Samo had to end their era and a different team [had to] win. I personally think that it’s kind of selfish for us to think that we should win every year. Another team needs to feel what it’s like to win a title, especially if their school has never experienced one before.”
Chapman says the season had its high moments and that the team has made some major accomplishments both on and off the field.
“As with most seasons, there were some high points and some low points,” Chapman said. “Though we underperformed, there were some bright spots. Lidia Battaglia and Kristen Vasquez accepted scholarship offers to play soccer at the University of Hawaii and the University of San Francisco. More importantly, we qualified for CIF, and I believe in the girls and their ability to compete at the highest level and make some waves in the playoffs.”
Although their season is technically over, the returning players will pick up off-season training in order to prepare for next winter.