Due to the unexpected two week thanksgiving break, practice time was slim, forcing girls soccer to find field time in locations off campus.
During this time away from school the team has been able to practice at Acorn Acres, get uniforms and prepare for their first game on Monday Nov. 26 vs Moorpark.
“The time off school definitely did not help us and made practicing more difficult. We ended up using Acorn Acres next to school,” defender Lydia Sheppard said. “We did get less practice meaning we had to take advantage and work during the few hours we got.”
The team is currently facing many other obstacles like having several injured players. In hopes of ounce again making playoffs, the girls are looking to heal quickly and showcase more of their skills in playoffs.
“Last season we made it into playoffs, but unfortunately we got out the first game,” forward Ireland Nowalk said. “It was a great experience and we hope to do it again this year.”
It’s too soon to tell how the team has developed from last year, but the team is filled with lots of new talent due to the large amount of graduating seniors.
“There are lots of sophomores who will bring talent to the team and there are some juniors who were pulled up from JV last year to help in playoffs that know what to expect,” Nowalk said. “We also have new goalies this year that have come up, so there aren’t really any returning ones.”
In preparation the team has been conditioning in order to stay in better shape so that they can compete with better teams and enhance their chances of making playoffs.
The bond between teammates has been made stronger through playing for the same club teams. Through their previous connections, the players are hoping to communicate and connect passes through the midfield and to the forwards. If the players were not associated through past teams the extensive length of tryouts gave them the opportunity to get more familiar with each other as players.
“Tryouts began with any of the girls who wanted to try and make the varsity team and over the weeks some people got cut,” Sheppard said. “During the tryouts most days we did a full field scrimmage while the coaches watched and decided who would be the best, diverse players for the team this year.”
Coach Clay Cameron starts tryouts early in order to ensure he finds his best team, and by watching the players for a long period of time the team was set. This allowed him to pick his varsity team early and have extra weeks of practice.
Keeping an eye on their goal of getting past the first round of playoffs, players look forward to their tough opponents in order to come out strong.
“Last season I got pulled up from JV to help in some games so I am not as sure about some teams, but I think Westlake is always a big rival,” Nowalk said. “We will need to be ready to come out strong. Also, Newbury Park is always a good battle, so they will be a good challenge as well.”
Thousand Oaks varsity soccer is unaware of what to expect in the upcoming season but they are keeping a positive outlook on their goals.
“We all want to make it far in playoffs, so I think having a similar goal in mind will help us make it,” Nowalk said.