Fresh Faces

Six freshmen find footing on the varsity girls soccer team


Garrett Connely

Freshman Campbell Zimmers dribbles the ball up field. The team played Westside and won the game in a shootout.

Sierra Lancaster, Entertainment Editor

When most children are four or five years old, they’re attending pre-school, going on mother set-up playdates, and throwing tantrums about having to wear shoes. Sidney Anderson, Sena Ahovissi, Emerson Henry, Ever Loveridge, Campbell Zimmers, and Laynie Kuhn are the exception.
As the six freshmen girls on the varsity team, they’re some of the finest underclassmen athletes Millard North has. And they’re not benchwarmers either- they’re everything from goalkeepers to forwards and attacking midfielders. They all began playing at a young age, after each having their own mesmerizing encounter with the sport.
“I started playing soccer at [age] 4. I begged my mom to sign me up and she finally did. I played rec for the YMCA for quite a bit before I switched to a more competitive club. I got into soccer because I thought it looked fun,” said Loveridge.
But before they could proudly wear Mustang blue nearly ten years later, the skilled six had to go through the same rigorous try-out process as everyone else. The try-outs lasted five days, in which the competing girls had to scrimmage against one another, complete backbreaking drills, and complete a running test.
“I was pretty nervous for soccer tryouts,” Loveridge said. “My sister made varsity her freshman year, so I kind of felt pressured to do that as well.”
Even though they didn’t have to uphold family tradition, the process was nerve-wracking for Loveridge’s other five freshman teammates as well.
“Tryouts are always stressful, but it made it easier to have my teammates there with me, and also to just go out with confidence and play my game,” Anderson said.
Playing their game is what these girls seem to do best. The team has only lost two matches this season, and is well on their way to bringing home the state championship. They credit their coaches and their close team bond as being the team’s formula for success.
“I have the best team ever…we get so much support from our great coaches. Team connection is important because when you have confidence in your teammates, then that transfers onto the field,” Kuhn said.
Not only are they close as friends, but they’re tight knit on the field, as well. The team is hungry for victory, and knows that determination and hard work will help them reach their goal of winning the state championship.
In order to bring home the gold, the girls have to make every practice count. They practice everyday after school, stretching, completing certain drills, making sure their shooting skills are up to par, and running. While this daily lineup is rigorous, it’s necessary so that the team can be at their physical and mental best.
“We all want what’s best for each other, and have a common goal of the doing the best in high school soccer: winning state,” Anderson said.
Whether or not the team wins it all, these six certainly will remember this season. Not only do they have three more years of varsity soccer ahead of them, but they’ve already asserted themselves as dynamic, goal-shooting forces to be reckoned with.
“The bond with my teammates is so strong. I’d say some of the girls are already my best friends! I can’t wait for the years to come,” Henry said.