Girls soccer season begins with a 1-0 win over Olathe West

The Jaguars defeated Olathe West 1-0 on Thursday, March 21 at home

Anna Owsley, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

The Jaguars kicked off their season with a 1-0 win against Olathe West on Thursday, March 21. Head coach Arlan Vomhof attributes the long struggle for offensive dominance to “first game jitters, not working hard enough” and “getting knocked around” before the Jaguars turned the game around in the second period.

“Second half, we really came out and fought a lot better,” Vomhof said. “We were a little bit more at ease. We started putting passes together, and started playing together. We started hitting back.”

Junior midfielder Ella Shurley agrees with this evaluation and saw the team improve after correcting these issues.

“There were some nerves throughout the first half. We definitely got those kinks out [in the second half],” Shurley said. “We finally figured out how to connect with each other and pressure together and finally work as a team instead of worrying about our individual performance.”

Another key factor in the game’s slow start was identified as Olathe West’s passing patterns and the Jaguars’ difficulties in overcoming them, according to sophomore midfielder Peyton Wagoner. However, the Jags’ intensified speed and strategic passing in the second half proved to be successful.

Vomhof describes the winning goal, scored by Wagoner with just three minutes left in the game.

“We received it in the middle. Ella [Shurley] made a run, and they passed it out to her. I think they thought she was offsides, but she wasn’t,” Vomhof said. “She received a really good ball and got it across to Peyton [Wagoner], and Peyton finished it.”

While Vomhof recognises the talent of this year’s players, he believes that the young team still needs to grow and transition into their full potential.

“We are a very young team. We lost a lot of seniors last year which left us with some big shoes to fill, and we’ve got girls who are filling them and will fill them, but we have a lot of sophomores on this varsity,” Vomhof said. “It’s a big transition from JV to varsity because now you are playing against 18 year olds.”

Vomhof hopes the sophomores will use the confidence gained by this game to continue developing as varsity players.

“I think [the team needs] the confidence of knowing that they can play against those girls and I think today really showed them that they could,” Vomhof said. “They also experienced how much faster varsity is than JV, so their speed of play has to improve and hopefully it will.”

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