By Trina Bernal
On February 6, the Benicia High JV and Varsity Soccer Girls Team went up against Miramonte High’s Soccer Teams, during senior night.
It was not only a special time for the seniors to look back on their successes but also for the underclassmen and juniors to express their gratitude for their seniors. JV team captain Robynn Balmediano (9) looks up to the seniors because she can see what she can become, “I look up to them because they’re really good players and throughout the years they’ve developed all the skills.”
Because Miramonte High is a very competitive soccer team, Benicia JV lost 3-4 but it’s okay. Coach Martinez admitted that their regular keeper was absent due to illness, and therefore they had a field player take charge instead. Inspite of the quick change in the roster, “We played well enough to win and unfortunately, we came out on the short end.”
As captain, one of Amanda Carvalho’s (9) first instincts when she sees her peers appear to give up is reassuring them, “I tell them it’s fine. Even when you mess up, you keep going.” Likewise with left center defense Caitlin Begbie (9) as well. Caitlyn emphasizes team-work, “You really need to be able to work with people.” And because the JV team is big, it can be hard to create a set roster, so Caitlin discusses how “having a team dynamic really calls for working with people.” And occasionally Caitlin is also a captain, depending on what the coach wants from his players. There’s no requirement to being a captain but it’s usually a rotation of a few players.
And a good soccer team is not without a strategy. For JV they wanted to keep possession of the ball as to tire out the other team. Caitlin says that with a big team, “you can just gradually work it up because there’s always open players.”
JV Coach Martinez believes that the JV group is comprised of devoted team players with no room for cliques, or as Coach Martinez said, no room to “exclude others [as it] can fracture a team quicker than anything else.”
As for Varsity, their strategy was to make a series of passes to get the ball to the back of the net, said goalkeeper Sarina Regis (10.) “At the kickoff we gain an advantage by doing that.” Though they lost to Miramonte 0-2, the soccer players decided to give their best, because it was also senior night. “The seniors inspire me,” Sarina stated. There were a lot of nerves, but it’s a big game – it’s expected. Even when Sarina came across a challenge with a breakaway, when it’s a 1v1 between an incoming player and a goalkeeper, she never backs down from a challenge and persists to deflect most incoming soccer balls.
Continue to support your sports teams by going to sports games.