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Vars girls soccer celebrates senior day with a 2-0 win over the Mission Bears

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Lauren Caldwell
Senior co-captain Fiona Plunkett gets ready to boot the ball out of the goal box.

Lauren Caldwell
Sophomore defender Siena Stueland dribbles the ball around a Mission Bears opponent.

Lauren Caldwell
Senior defender Mariko Hokamura’s teammates got her various gifts to celebrate Senior Day.

Christina Johnson
Junior forward Audrey Fuchs’ teammates congratulate her after she scores the first goal of the game.

Christina Johnson
“I was mostly just really sad the whole time in a happy sad way but mostly just sad.” Senior midfielder and co-captain Camila Bodden said after the game.

Christina Johnson
The varsity girls soccer team taking team pictures after the last home game of the season.

Cheered on by members of the girls softball team and the boys soccer team, as well as numerous students and faculty members, the varsity girls soccer team celebrated Senior Day by preserving their shutout season with a 2-0 win against their fiercest competitor, the Mission Bears, on Feb. 15 at home.

Looking to maintain their shutout season in the Academic Athletic Association league, Lowell arrived at the soccer pitch with the strategy of keeping possession of the ball, according to head coach Amber Wilson. “We wanted to come out strong, obviously not let [Mission] dominate too much,” she said. “But most importantly, is that we have a shutout season, so we didn’t want to have them score anything on us.”

The team’s graduating seniors, midfielder and co-captain Camila Bodden, defender Mariko Hokamura, midfielder Sabrina Lem and defender and co-captain Fiona Plunkett, led the Cardinals in this final home game of the season by successfully implementing the team’s strategy, with Lowell taking possession of the ball from the first minute of the game. However, the Bears’ strong defense proved difficult for the Cardinals to overcome, with team members making numerous fruitless attempts to score.

Midway through the first half, as cheers erupted from the bleachers, the Cardinals were able to break through the Bears’ defense, allowing junior forward Audrey Fuchs to score the first goal of the game. The remainder of the first half was marked by gridlock, with neither the Cardinals nor the Bears scoring.

At halftime, Wilson addressed the approximately 40 spectators in the bleachers to kick-off the Cardinals’ Senior Day festivities, which recognizes the dedication of the seniors on the team. Freshmen, sophomore and junior teammates presented each of their four senior teammates with a poster and a gift bag filled with presents.

The second half of the match got underway with a scoring attempt by sophomore Alice Belshaw-Hood that was blocked by the Bears’ goalie and defenders, as were other efforts by the Cardinals to score. With emotions running high on the Cardinals’ side of the field and the strong skill level of the Bears, the Cards found it particularly difficult to score. “We probably could have played better, but there was a lot of emotion and I was a little bit distracted,” Bodden said. “I’m sure other people were, too.”

Overcoming their emotions in the last four minutes of the game, the Cardinals broke through the Bears’ back defensive players to successfully connect their passes, allowing Bodden, with an assist from Plunkett, to fittingly score the final goal of the Senior Day game.

With both their last home game of the regular season and Senior Day completed, Plunkett and Bodden were reminded of how much they are going to miss their teammates next year. “It’s fun to see everyone in the halls and you automatically have a group of people that you have something in common with, even if you wouldn’t normally,” Bodden said. “Like I’m friends with some of the freshmen that I would absolutely not have known otherwise.”

As the team revs up for the championships and a chance at a 22nd consecutive AAA title, Wilson believes that the Cardinals need to focus on getting into a winning mindset. “It’s just going be a mental game for us,” she said. “I think the skill is really there and I’m super confident in every single player, so I think it’s the nerves that get to them, the games, the fans and being around that because most of our season has been fairly easy competition, so playing against harder competition is when we really have to keep our focus.”

The Cardinals will take on the Mission Bears in the AAA championships at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Boxer Stadium in Balboa Park.

About the Contributors
Tess Randall, Reporter

I’m on the Congress Debate team as well as journalism and I also like to draw. My favorite books are The Stand and Huckleberry Finn. A fun fact about me is that I went to three different middle schools.

Christina Johnson, Multimedia Editor

I joined the Lowell publication after going to an information meeting. I wanted to become a reporter, but everyone in the information meeting raised their hand to become a photographer...being too shy to be the only one interested in reporting, I raised my hand to become a photographer too. I’m glad I raised my hand that day and now I can enjoy giving Lowell the best graphics I can. When I’m not taking pictures for the publication, I’m taking pictures of cute dogs, pigeons, and flowers I find around the city or playing DDR at an arcade. You definitely won’t find me at the beach because I hate sand.

Lauren Caldwell, Photographer

As an appreciator of the work of photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon, I have and continue to be fascinated with the faces of people—their expressions, their environment, and how best to represent the essence of their identity in a two-dimensional snapshot. Generally, you will find me at the movies, the art museum, or a record store. I am a lover of old and foreign films with captivating cinematography and generally, any horror movie I can get my hands on. My favorite film to date would have to be La Dolce Vida and favorite novel— The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. In terms of music, I enjoy punk rock and my taste in art varies—whatever can stir up my emotions.

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Vars girls soccer celebrates senior day with a 2-0 win over the Mission Bears