Teamwork Shines as Girls’ Soccer Scores League Champion Title


Courtesy of @portolagirlssoccer Instagram

Girls’ soccer gathers after winning the game as Pacific Coast League champions for the 2022 season. The Bulldogs are the furthest into CIF in Portola High soccer history.

Girls’ soccer (13-3-6) won 7-0 at its final league game against Beckman High in the home stadium on Feb. 4, securing their title as Pacific Coast League Champions. 

The Bulldogs also won 2-1 and 2-0, respectively, at their first two CIF-SS rounds against Norco High on Feb. 12 and Thousand Oaks High on Feb. 16. After additionally winning quarterfinals on Feb. 19, the team lost 0-5 at CIF-SS semifinals against West High on Feb. 23.

“I think that we really took that passion in the motion and put it into this game to win,” forward and freshman Lily Nesland said. “We’ve been just working together through team bonding and just trying to get chemistry together, especially during practices.”

Before the game, Beckman High was first place in the Pacific Coast League, while the Bulldogs were second, according to forward and senior Sloane De Torres. By getting in goals early, including De Torres scoring three goals within the first half of the game, and using their knowledge of how the Patriots play, the Bulldogs were able to win. ​​

“For Portola specifically, knowing I might not be able to have any more games makes me give every single ounce of my work rate, and I want to be here and make sure that it reflects in how I play,” De Torres said.

That night, girls’ soccer showed just how powerful a determined mindset can be, according to defender and senior Celine Aoki. Every tactical play was coordinated and connected, allowing the Bulldogs to continue to score while goalie and junior Mia Linville blocked the Patriots’ offense. 

Teamwork was essential for their victory, not just during the game but also throughout the season during practices, according to Aoki, who was recognized as defensive player of the year during senior night.

“I think the communication has increased this year, whether it be on or off the field,” Aoki said. “Etiquettes have really changed this year to become more of a team-like environment, and that’s carried onto the field from training.”

Transitioning to CIF, the Bulldogs are ranked at a high seed based on their record and the level of teams they have been playing against. According to girls’ soccer head coach Jeralyn Newton, ties at the CIF level go straight into penalty kicks, which the team will be focusing on as they prepare for future games.

“We’ll play a lower seed, but with that in mind, every team that has made it to this point is good,” Newton said. “It’s exciting to know that we might have a decent chance this first game, but we still have to perform at our best.”