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The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

Girls soccer: Making their Mark

With the graduation of several seniors, girls’ varsity soccer is mainly comprised of new blood. In particular, freshmen Audrey Kessler and Amelia Leggett and sophomores Lilly Araiza and Alexis Schott are prospering on the field.

“I feel like last year we had a lot more seniors than we do this year and it just feels a little bit different because we now have younger people stepping in and filling different roles,” Schott said.In their first game of the season, the Panthers won 2-0 against Dodge City with the goal scorers being Kessler and Autumn Coppins. And their second game finished in similar fashion — the final score was 2-1 with Leggett and junior Mackenzie Cunningham scoring.

Three out of four goals scored have been by freshmen. 

Sophomores on varsity are calls for congratulations, but being a freshman on varsity is another level of impressive. 

“(Being on varsity) it’s pretty cool. It definitely shows the freshman class is capable of being at that level, but I think it’s pretty hard since a lot of the teams we play against are seniors and juniors, so they’re a lot bigger,” Leggett said. 

Also, new additions have been infused within the midfield. In soccer, there are typically 3-5 players that reside in the midfield. 

“There are a lot more underclassmen starting so we have a different formation, and (now) there is five in the middle instead of three,” Araiza said. 

Kessler is just one of the players a part of the midfield. 

“I play center midfield,” Kessler said. 

The newcomer showed her prowess after receiving an award in the Panthers game against Dodge City on March 19. 

“I won the MVP award for the first game and (my goal was) right outside the 18 and it was pretty,” Kessler said. 

Besides the midfield, the Panthers’ attacking ability with their forwards is strong. 

“Harper, Audrey and Autumn are the top goal scorers right now,” Schott said. 

Players from the midfield are excellent participants in the offensive for any team. 

“I think Audrey is going to be a big part of the team,” Araiza said. 

The freshman player generates significant impact as a midfielder but also as a top-tier attacker.

Alongside Kessler, is another freshman, Leggett. 

“I play a bunch of positions, and I normally play defensive mid. Though, I’ve recently been playing forward,” Leggett said. 

She has been forced to adjust to an unfamiliar position, but she has pushed through and has continued to perform well hence her goal scored against Northwest. 

“At forward, I feel like my role is my speed. I can just run into the through balls, but at defensive mid, I’m pretty good at distributing passes. Also, I feel like I’m good at hyping up the team,” Leggett said. 

Joining a fresh team while her role changed was challenging but also rewarding. 

“(Coming into a new team) It’s gone pretty well so far because the team is all super nice and very accepting. They want to be a new team every year and try to improve every year, so I don’t think it’s been hard at all,” Leggett said. 

Kessler agreed: “It was difficult at first but it’s good now.”

This could be translated into how close all the girls are to one another. 

“We are all very, very close friends.  We still have our cliques and stuff like that, but we are all a very close team that works well together,” Schott said. 

Schott has her own spot within the team that she fulfills intently. 

“I think the main defender is Lexi,” Kessler said. 

Defense is a necessary part of soccer as attackers score goals, defenders stop the opponent from scoring. 

“(As a center back,) I can see the whole field better while communicating with the team,” Schott said. 

Communication is an imperative aspect of soccer, which shines through for the Panthers.

When describing her teammates, Leggett said “they are all very reliable.”

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