Women’s soccer season review

Women’s soccer season review

The 2023 season for the Pierce women’s soccer team was a year of adapting for both the sophomore and freshman players.

As a team coming together with players coming from many different high schools and clubs, the players had to learn to adapt to Pierce’s style of play instituted by head coach Adolfo Perez.

The team finished with a record of 10-7-5 and won a first round playoff game, but were knocked out in the following round.

Perez said that his biggest challenge of the season was to unite his team mentally.

“We’ve got players from all different high schools and they have to work together as a unit,” he said. “Getting everybody to be on the same page with the many different challenges we’ve been through has been one of my challenges this season.”

Perez expressed that one reason why this happened is because his players came from diverse high school and club backgrounds with coaches that didn’t express enough necessary aspects of soccer.

“In high school, a lot of the coaches, unfortunately, are very limited in experience; they just want to win and kick the ball, but they don’t really have a plan,” Perez expressed. “The mythology that we use is very different from what they’re used to in high school and club.”

Sophomore captain Nalani Casarez said that adaptation to Pierce’s style of play was a tremendous accomplishment this season.

“Here at Pierce we try to play a very clean game. We want to get as many on-the-ground passes as possible, get as close as we can to the goal by making combination plays and breaking teams apart,” she said. “I think it was very hard for us, especially in the beginning with such limited time, to try to break people away from their old habits from high school and get them to adjust to the style of play at Pierce.”

Casarez also expressed that with the team’s many freshman players, learning how to be a team was both a teaching moment and a learning moment for all the players, and even the captains, too.

“With the other two captains being freshmen, they did have a lot to learn as far as rules and basic necessities that we need at practice like picking up equipment and organizing stuff,” she expressed. “I think they took a step back and let me lead the way in that, and that was nice because while they were still leading the rest of the team, they were learning from me so that when they become sophomores they get to teach the new freshmen.”

Going into the off-season, Perez shared that he has some goals for his team that he wants to work on, including game understanding and mental training.

“I want my team to be consistent in showing up [mentally] and be able to understand the game quicker than we did,” he said. “We have a structure for the way we play offense and the way we play defense, and we are going to definitely take advantage of the spring, which is our off-season, and try to work on this.”

“We need to work harder than we did last season to get a head start,” he said.

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