Girls’ soccer fights in literally electrifying win over Lincoln Mustangs 5–0

Senior forward Amelia Streiffer runs down the field on Jan. 20 in the game against the Lincoln Mustangs. Photo by Jennifer Cheung

The girls’ soccer team dominated the Lincoln Mustangs 5–0 on Jan. 20, however, both teams experienced difficulties with the stormy weather that ultimately stole the show. Fifteen minutes into the second half, the soccer field and bleachers were struck multiple times by lightning bolts, prompting referees to immediately stop the game.

This is one of the many new challenges the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have to face after switching from being a fall and spring sport, respectively, to a winter sport.

The California Interscholastic Federation San Francisco section agreed to change both the boys’ and girls’ soccer seasons from the fall and spring, respectively, to winter in December 2015. With the switch, both boys’ and girls’ soccer teams play during the winter season, rather than in the fall and spring.


As a result, the teams face heavy rain and wind, an uncommon factor during the fall or spring season. “I have never played in conditions like this before,” boys’ senior co-captain and forward Cian O’Dwyer said. He remembered this experience as he recalled one memory of when the wind blew back a ball to the goalie who had kicked it seconds before. “The wind had blown it back to him. It was unbelievable.”

“When we went to play against Balboa and the goalie took a kick and the wind had blown it back to him. It was unbelievable.”

The girls’ team faced worse and potentially shocking conditions during the game on Jan. 20.

Senior defender Isabel Streiffer dribbles the ball down the field. Photo by Jennifer Cheung

It was not raining at the beginning of the game. The Cardinals dominated the first half, spreading out the players according to a 4–3–3 formation and using persistent communication between passes, according to junior midfielder Kikki Turner. The 4–3–3 formation organizes the field by placing four players as defense, three as midfielders and three as forwards. As a result of their execution, Turner scored the first goal of the game within the first 10 minutes. Senior forward Lyla Sax scored after 20 minutes, followed by another goal by Turner. The Cardinals led 3–0 at the end of the half.

Senior forward Lyla Sax dribbles between Mustang defenders. Photo by Christina Johnson

However, 15 minutes into the second half, lightning struck the stands and the field, and it began to rain. The referees immediately stopped the game and advised evacuation. Both teams were visibly upset by the possibility of being unable to start the game again.

After half an hour, the rain stopped, and the game continued. The Cardinals maintained their composure and played aggressive offense and defense. Senior forward Amelia Streiffer scored the fourth goal of the game, and sophomore forward Lea Thauvin sealed the 5–0 victory with the final goal of the game.

Junior forward Kikki Turner prepares to kick the ball down the field. Photo by Christina Johnson

Though the Cardinals still managed to come out on top, they had to struggle through unideal conditions. “There’s no business in moving the girls from the spring and the boys from the fall to play in this terrible and unsafe environment,” head coach Gene Vrana said.

“There’s no business in moving the girls from the spring and the boys from the fall to play in this terrible and unsafe environment.”

In addition to playing in harsh weather, soccer teams within the school district and Academic Athletic Association league are now able to compete in post-season tournaments and scrimmages, such as the CIF state championships, according to varsity boys’ soccer head coach Juan Lopez. This was previously impossible because the CIF-San Francisco section would have its soccer season as other sections had their off season.

Varsity boys’ soccer team huddles during a timeout. Photo by Christina Johnson

Switching to the winter season also opened up more opportunities to practice on the football field. “Personally I like the change for several reasons,” Lopez said. “The boys’ and girls’ soccer team can work together on and off the field to create a soccer family.” Lopez showed a positive reaction towards the change by mentioning how the girls’ and the boys’ soccer teams would not have to compromise with the football and track teams for possession of the field.

Senior midfielder Jonathan Argueta-Vasquez pushes the ball past the Galileo Lions defender on Jan. 10. Photo by Jacky Huang

However, the switch affected both teams’ scheduling. The boys’ soccer team had to reject one player because of schedule complications. “[A player] had some conflicts on one day of the week and unfortunately, we couldn’t take him because we need people to be here everyday of the week,” O’Dwyer said.

Many players on the girls’ team, on the other hand, find the schedule change helpful. Many players appreciated the switch because now they could participate in both the school’s team and a club team, according to senior defender Isabel Streiffer.

Senior co-captain and forward Cian O’Dwyer dribbles the ball past the Galileo Lions. Photo by Jacky Huang

Currently, with the switch to winter season, the boys’ soccer team currently holds a regular season record of 6–2, and the girls’ soccer team holds a perfect regular season record of 5–0.