By Seamus Geoghegan
The Rams women’s soccer team remains dominant after wins in seven of their eight matches as they head into the rest of their fall season.
The team continued their run from last season’s reduced number of games, where the squad won four of five scrimmages, losing only to Los Positas in their final match.
“Last season we had a really short season, five games in the spring. We didn’t practice at all during the fall,” forward Illiana Sanchez said. “It was just good to get out there.”
The women’s soccer season was cut to a brief five game season due to COVID-19. The team was also restricted in their practice, being limited to non-contact drills such as passing or individual conditioning.
Despite the condensed season, head coach Jeff Wilson set up online activities and other ways for the squad to train and build bonds among the senior players as a way to keep the team together.
“Many players on the team participated in a summer soccer class,” Wilson said. “We did a little bit of stuff online…We started individually where there was zero contact and then went to [playing in] small groups where they had to be isolated.”
“I just think we’ve really grown as a team, our chemistry has gotten so much better,” Sanchez said. “We’re all pretty close. And we’ve gotten really close over the summer.”
After their long break from the pitch, the team is more eager than ever to play and win games. With new and strengthened connections between teammates from training over the summer, the side has put out several shut-out games and continues to produce great results.
“I feel like everybody on our team really wants it this season.” goalkeeper and team captain Alexia Estrada said. “We saw how good we could be in the spring, you know, we only had one loss in the spring. So I think everybody sees the potential and everybody wants it.”
While the team’s morale is high, the season hasn’t been flawless. The side has had players out due to injuries in recent games, something that has been difficult to cope with for the side even with their larger roster. The squad has had to rely on newer faces to keep up the good performances the side has been producing.
“We all treat each other like family, so it’s hard knowing that one of your close friends has an injury that they’re going through,” forward Megan Celillo said, adding: “We don’t take the practice for granted, because any wrong step can put you out for months.”
“It can definitely be hard, going into a new team where they’re already bonded,” Sanchez said. “So just kind of make them feel comfortable. I think they [bonded with us] really quickly and you know, I love everyone on the team.”
Despite losing a game to Sierra college 2-0, the team has done incredibly so far this season conceding only five goals in eight games and scoring 37. They continue to win games, including beating the only side they lost to last season, Los Positas 1-0. The squad is hopeful that they can continue their recent run and take on the tougher teams of the division.
“[During] the five years that I’ve been at City, this is the most talented team that I’ve coached,” Wilson said, “It’s a lot of fun to work with a team like this. It’s kind of what I imagined when I first took the job, and it kind of came into fruition.”
The Rams’ next game will be against the West Valley Vikings at home Tuesday Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.