Girls’ soccer ends season with OT win

Team clinches fourth seed in sections


Mya Stanberry

Senior Ella Runyan celebrates with her teammates on Senior Night Oct. 7. Park beat Cooper 3-0.

Amelia Mickelson and Tobias Khabie

After capping off the regular season with an overtime win against Washburn Oct. 9, senior captain Sophia Romero said the desire to finish strong propelled the team to the win. 

“There was definitely nerves but ultimately we pushed through because we knew we had to win, and a lot of people were motivated to win for the seniors because they knew that it was our last regular season game ever.”

The win pushed the girls’ team to clinch the 4th seed in the sections tournament, an improvement from ranking 8th seed last season. Junior Jordan Dolinar said the team’s improvement this season can be attributed to its ability to learn from mistakes and adapt for the future.

“We’ve had our ups and downs for sure, but we’ve been able to learn a lot in practice and improve on the next game,” Dolinar said. 

My voice and being one of the more experienced soccer players on the team this year has really helped bring up the intensity level (of the team).”

— Sophia Romero

Head coach Anne Beaton said a big part of the team’s improvement has been the leadership demonstrated during games.

“The players are starting to take on more of a leadership role on the field, and the more that the players can lead from the field, the more we’ve been winning,” Beaton said. 

As a goalkeeper and team captain, Romero said she has personally made efforts to become a better leader, and said she has seen positive results because of her leadership.

“I’ve tried to communicate from the back and I really try to bring a sense of leadership from the back of the field,” Romero said. “My voice and being one of the more experienced soccer players on the team this year has really helped bring up the intensity level (of the team).”

Strong leadership also helped the transition to a new coaching staff this year led by Beaton. According to Beaton, despite the challenges that come with coaching changes, the team has been able to work through the adversity. 

“When you’re coaching teenagers, there’s always changes that are hard in some instances,” Beaton said. “It’s been a challenge but in a good way — any of the bumps in the road are just part of the whole journey.”

As the team heads into sections, Beaton said she is grateful for the experiences coaching brought her this season and she is looking forward to continuing the success of the program.

“I just love coaching this team, the kids are great, Park is an awesome community,” Beaton said. “I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m just thankful for the opportunity, I’m having a lot of fun.”

The team will start its sections run against Southwest at 5 p.m. Oct. 14 at Park.