Girls’ soccer goes for gold to continue a 20-year legacy

Originally published on March 24, 2015

Senior mid-fielder Maetal Kogan preps an instep kick during the 2–1 victory against Tamalpais on March 3. Photo by Karina Huft

The varsity girls’ soccer team is kicking off the season with a new head coach, a new 3–4–3 formation, and determination to continue their winning streak.

Head coach Gene Vrana is making a few changes to the team this season after being assistant coach for 16 years. Vrana plans to integrate a 3–4–3 formation into the team’s practice regimen, with three backs, four mids, and three forwards. The 3–4–3 formation allows for maximum offense and is also easily convertible to defense. “That puts a bit of a challenge on the three backs, but it also sets us up for instant offense, with four midfielders and three forwards,” he said. “Learning the rotation to cover for your teammate when she goes up is something that we need to work on.”

The 3–4–3 formation allows for maximum offense and is also easily convertible to defense.

This season, the team will also put more emphasis on fundamentals.“I want to see the strength of our team be manifested in a very dynamic offense, but also in a defense,” Vrana said. “I’m anticipating a combination of success, but most importantly, improvement, over the season.”

To achieve this success, the team members will have to ramp up their efforts. “We’re definitely being pushed harder this year, and we have a lot more goals this year,” sophomore defender Amanda Kallenburg said. “We’re taking it more seriously and we’re more committed.”

Sophomore forward Amelia Streiffer weaves and sweeps past two Tamalpais players. Photo by Karina Huft

Commitment has indeed led to the success of Lowell girls’ soccer. The Cardinals defeated the Washington Eagles last season 6–0 in the championship game with an aggressive offense. “I think last season, we developed an attacking approach that involved our defenders in the attack,” Vrana said. “The offense was a total team offense. In whatever formation we play, that’s really important, so that was effective last year.”

The team has been around for almost 21 years and has won the championship title 19 times, losing only twice to the Lincoln Mustangs in 1996 and 1997. This season the Cardinals have been undefeated in the league, and Coach Vrana hopes to continue the team’s legacy. “It’s difficult when you have a team as strong and as successful as Lowell girls’ soccer has been to get them to commit to working even harder to get even better,” Vrana said.