Girls soccer go undefeated, win gold at ISSTs

Going into ISSTs, varsity girls soccer was in the midst of an undefeated season. Their success continued throughout the tournament where they also went unbeaten and each player came home with a gold medal hanging proudly from her neck.

In the lead up to the tournament, Taegen Kopfler (’17), who would go on to earn all-tournament honors, was “very confident” of the team’s chances of winning. “We knew we had the technical abilities to win, so we had the right mindset going into the tournament,” she said.

Co-captain and all-tournament player Elizabeth Vann (’16) shared the same confidence as Koplfer going into the tournament, but she “knew it would take large amounts of hard work and effort from the entire team to get there.”

Over the course of the group stage games, the team handled the opposition comfortably, opening with a win against Cairo American College (CAC) 2-1 before beating St. Johns 2-0. On the second day of games, the team finished off the group stage strongly as they defeated Frankfurt International School (FIS) 4-1 to ensure they topped their group, with all-tournament player Lillie Atkins (’16) particularly impressing by scoring twice.

In the semi finals, they were drawn to play TASIS and beat the English team 2-0 behind goals from Vann and Kara Fallin (’17) to reach the final and face off against CAC, who they’d already defeated in the group stage. Once more, ASL came out victorious against CAC, thus earning the gold medal. Their victory did not come easily though, the game went into extra time with the score at 1-1 thanks to a goal from Riley Evans (’17). Deep in extra time, ASL found a dramatic winner through Kopfler, leading to mass celebrations.

Varsity girls soccer co-captain Louisa Phillips (’15) was nervous leading up to ISSTs, but still believed that a first place finish should have been regarded as an expectation from the get-go. “Although we had a spectacular season I was a little nervous about ISSTs. We had only played 3 teams in the tournament so we didn’t know what many other teams were like. Despite our lack of knowledge about the other teams I didn’t let my nerves dictate my desire for the team to play well. I expected my team to finish in 1st place,” she said.

For Kopfler, the most impressive part of the tournament for the team was their “ability to go into each game with the confidence that we could win. We were able to win every game because of our ability to connect with the ball, and that is something no other team could do as well [as us],” she said

Vann describes the passing and ability to win one on one battles as keys to the teams success in the tournament.

Phillips, who has been on the team since her freshman year, could not express how much this first place finish meant to her. “Ever since my first ISST in Grade 9 I wanted to win gold. I am so proud of my team for giving 110 percent from the beginning of the season to the last whistle of the championship game,” she said.

With Phillips having now played her final ISST match, she has belief in her teammates for the years ahead. “I am so confident that this team will continue to succeed in the upcoming seasons. My co-captain [Vann] will be a senior next year and is already an experienced captain. I know she will lead this team to another victory,” she said. “The team is only losing two seniors and there is a lot of potential in the young players so I can only predict that the varsity team will continue to dominate its competition.”