Girls’ Soccer is Victorious Against the Vaqueros

Jaein Kim, Staff Writer

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Girls’ soccer (5-8-3) won 3-0 against Irvine High at home on Jan. 16. Junior and midfielder Peyton Weidner and senior and center forward Karly Hopper each scored during the first half, followed by the last goal made by junior Allison Kramer with five minutes left in the game.

“Compared to last season, we’re doing much better,” head coach Jeralyn Newton said. “We have more positive energy, and we have more intensity. Last year was a really hard growth year for us, but now we know what we’re getting into, and we know what to do.”

While in past years the team was much smaller compared to other teams in the Pacific Coast League, Portola High now matches other schools in size. The addition of new players not only led to the growth of the program, but has also strengthened team dynamics.

“Even just during practices, team camaraderie has grown,” Kramer said. “Everyone knows the purpose of playing now. In the beginning years, we were just playing to have fun, but now we’re getting much more competitive with it.”

Victory against Irvine High marks girls’ soccer’s fifth victory of this season and puts the team on track to CIF. Weidner made the first goal in the first five minutes at the 18-yard line. The second goal made it through on Hopper’s second attempt, after rebounding when the ball hit the post and missed.

Within the last five minutes of the game, Kramer scored the final goal after a rapid series of passes from defenders to midfielders. Left forward and sophomore Claudia Lin received the ball, proceeded to dribble 30 yards and pass the ball. Hopper received the ball then assisted with the goal, crossing to Kramer who shot with her left foot from the 25-yard line.

“The last few teams will definitely be tough,” senior Alyssa Ing said. “But this league has been a toss-up. All the teams are pretty evenly matched, and I think we have a pretty good chance of moving forward [and qualifying for CIF].”