Spring State Champions Prepare for Upcoming Seasons

Celeste Wetmore and Olivia Pang

Last spring, our school witnessed our girls field sports excel beyond what their programs have achieved in recent years. Girls lacrosse won their first-ever state championship, and girls soccer became state champions for the second time. 

When she began her career as a girls varsity lacrosse coach, Head Coach Jenny Tran knew what she wanted for her team. 

“My end goal was to win championships at Yorktown,” Tran said. 

However, these victories did not come easy. Tran described the team’s rigorous six-day practice schedule that filled the months leading up to their state championship game—a program that did not leave players unfazed.

“It was really hard to balance academics and practicing six days a week,” senior Sophia Allenbaugh said. 

With the girls entering the 2023 season as state champions, Tran adapted the team’s schedule in order to prepare for harsher competition. Starting early puts the girls ahead of other teams in the district: moving them one step closer to their end goal of another big win. 

“We started our off season in October where we trained two days a week. We do lifting and conditioning and then stick work on the turf,” Tran said.

Being the best in the state is no small feat, but the girls are willing to do whatever it takes to bring home another championship. This will entail a lot of teamwork, which seems to trump all else among the sisterhood that is girls lacrosse.

“No one ever gives up, and we’re always pushing each other to move forward and forward and forward,” Allenbaugh said.

With their tight-knit team bond, intense practice schedule and hunger for another victory, we can only assume we’ll see great outcomes for girls lacrosse this year. Although adversity will surely find them along the way, the girls can hold on to the possibility of another ring. 

“It’s all mental: mental toughness,” Allenbaugh said. 

Last season, girls lacrosse shared the Greenbrier field with another team of state champions. Girls soccer won their second state title after a season with only one loss. 

Although our soccer players walked away victorious, the Kellam Knights put up quite the battle. The state championship game remained tied at 0-0 until the fourth quarter. The now-senior Aminata Davis then scored the game’s first and only goal with 12 minutes left in the game.

“Once I scored the goal, the whole team knew that we needed to go on defense and just finish out the game,” Davis said. 

The girls reaped a well-earned reward that day. Throughout the season, they had been putting in strong effort at practices three to four times a week, only resting their legs when games approached. As well as traditional drills and exercises, Davis emphasized another aspect of preparation for these high stakes games. 

“Going into the playoffs we knew we really needed to be connected and work together as a team if we wanted to win,” Davis said. 

This was not a new issue for the team. Since the beginning of the season, it was apparent that the team was built up of outstanding individuals who struggled to play cohesively. However, they only lost one district game, an early-season match against South Lakes.

“It was honestly something that I think helped our team, because it was a good wake up call,” Davis said. 

Despite challenges, the girls’ passion and commitment was truly exhibited last season. Coming off of this huge victory, our girls soccer team will undoubtedly make some noise this spring.

“I think if we keep up the hard work, we’ll be able to have a really good shot at winning again,” Davis said.