Lady Kats focus to finish first, win playoffs

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With the onset of winter and spring season impending, the Lady Kat Varsity soccer team kicked off their season at Brenham’s Blue Bell Invitational Tournament with a 1-0 win. This championship win, along with the district games that started on Jan. 22, positions the Lady Kats to reach the goal of topping their last season.

“I expect the team to make it to play offs this season,” said head soccer coach Misty Kroon. “If they want to make it, they have to work hard at practice. There’s nothing I can do to make the players want it except set up the atmosphere and challenge them at practice.”

The Lady Kat Junior Varsity (JV) team went undefeated in district games and is vying to extend their undefeated streak.
“I hope to win all of our games this year and not let any goals be scored,” said sophomore center midfielder Claire Deacon. “I also want to contribute more in defense and make better decisions in passing the ball.”

The goal to reaching playoffs and an undefeated season involves more than challenging practices. It also requires a strong relationship between the coach and the players, as well as cooperation between the players themselves.
“If the players have a coach that they respect, it makes them want to work harder. If the coach or the players aren’t going to work together, they’re not going to win the game,” said Kroon. “From my point of view, the team camaraderie and morality have been high. Everyone gets along this year, and I think the seniors are a big part of that. They make others feel included instead of just being in one group, so everybody is friends with everybody. I feel like we’re a team whether we’re on the field or not.”

Having an undefeated season and reaching the playoffs aren’t the only aims for the Lady Kats.

“One of my personal goals for this season is to become a smarter and better soccer player,” said JV sophomore defender, forward, and outside midfielder Regan Ortiz. “I think that it’s always best to improve and become better.To make this happen, I just have to try my best and always give 110%.”

“I expect to be faster with the ball and more aggressive,” said Varsity senior forward and midfielder Sloane Langham. “I also want to beat our rival Klein Oak. They made it to the finals last year, and it would be amazing to beat them.”

JV and Varsity played their first district game against Klein Oak on Jan. 22. JV tied with the Panthers 0-0 while Varsity pulled away with a 1-0 win.

“We have strong opponents in our district,” said Kroon. “Not knowing how we’re going to react against teams like Kingwood or Klein Oak with nine new girls on Varsity is going to be a challenge.”

“Our biggest challenge is the number of players we have,” said Ortiz. “We have a really small team, and because of that, we all have to be in really good shape and be able to play most of the game if not all of it.”
Despite this setback, members still have hopes for playoffs.

“I want to advance in playoffs so that we can go to state and just grow as a team,” said Varsity junior forward and midfielder Emily Pool. “Soccer is a team sport, and every position is an essential part of the game. My teammates and coaches drive me to be the best that I can be. They push me to be my very best with positive encouragement.”