Despite Covid Concerns, the Lady Tigers Hope to Make Deep Playoff Run

Despite+Covid+Concerns%2C+the+Lady+Tigers+Hope+to+Make+Deep+Playoff+Run

Maggie Catney

After coming off of a state semifinals playoff run from last year, the Chagrin Falls Women’s Soccer team hopes to repeat such aspirations for the 2020 fall season.
Although Covid-19 has placed some barriers for this team, it hasn’t stopped them from reaching their goals.
After what was thought to be a rebuilding year, the lady tigers came back stronger than before boasting a similar record to the 13-2-1 regular season campaign from last year. Now 9-2-1, the 2020 girls soccer team hope to leave their own mark on Chagrin Falls sports history.
“Our postseason goal is to make it to districts and work our way from there just one game at a time,” senior captain and goalkeeper Aerin Krebs stated.
Krebs highlights the patience and composure it takes to be successful throughout playoffs. The team’s consensus of taking it one game at a time helps them focus on winning each and every game, eliminating any distractions from other teams in the playoff bracket pool.
Such aspirations also mirror the team’s ability to play and work hard together. With a team of 12 seniors, this close-knit group of individuals have been playing together since they were very young.
Their connection with the juniors and underclassmen also emphasize the bond this team has with each other. With 3 returning juniors and 3 returning varsity sophomores, the team has not lost it’s young talent from last year.
“The value that we have set in place is playing for each other. If you are playing for your teammates you have something driving you other than winning and that means a lot to us,” Krebs stated.
The close bond this team has with each other is one of the reasons in which this team is so successful. The idea that no one gets left behind contributes to the high amount of trust each player has with one another.
In contrast, the young impact players who have been crucial to the team’s success this season also highlight the bright future the women’s soccer program has.
“As a team we’ve stepped it up to be as successful as we can be. This has been extremely important as we’ve had to fill the starting spots of girls who’ve had to quarantine,” stated by Senior Captain Marley Graham.
As a result, many who have little experience on the field had to step up big time for the tigers. Many of these individuals are also younger players, who will gain experience for seasons to come.
Furthermore, many of the traditions this team has also has kept the team bonded together. Remembering the past traditions that has kept this team so successful proves to be an important factor even through covid obstacles.
“Our pregame rituals have changed… we can’t do our famous pinky circle anymore. Instead we still all kneel down, but we keep our distance…” Graham stated.
As a result, the lady tigers still found a way to get past the covid obstacles to continue to practice their rituals that get them excited for games.
Covid-19 not only has affected the team in this way, but has also made a few starters quarantine, leaving the girls shorthanded for some games.
“Covid made the preseason really rocky but every player came in ready to work. We got moving quick and we’ve had some of our core starters out at times, but overall it hasn’t been too bad,” Krebs stated.
Preparations for the season have also affected the team as a result of covid. Many have had the responsibility of stepping up and working even harder as a result of covid complications.
In contrast, conference play has also been affected as a result of covid. There will be no conference champion crowned nor all-conference player awards.
“We also no longer have a CVC Champ and we’ve had some girls who had to quarantine,” Graham states.
This also takes distraction away from the real goal, a deep playoff run. Without the lingering thoughts of conference winners and player awards, the lady tigers can put all of their attention and effort at this year’s playoff run.
As a result, the senior leadership who have state semi-final experience plan to propel this team forward through encouragement and motivation.
“The playoffs can be both exciting and nerve wracking so our team must stick together throughout,” senior captain Jamie Dustin states.
As a result, both the senior leadership and the excitement of the talented youth give the tigers many reasons to be recognized as a dominant force with the potential of a deep playoff run.