Defending their title by defending goal

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Going undefeated is no easy task. Yet, that is exactly what varsity girls soccer did in 2014 ISSTs. This past season, with the ambition of defending their title, varsity girls soccer managed to better last years performance by going undefeated at ISSTs without conceding a goal.

In order to advance to the knockout rounds, the team won games against TASIS, Munich International School (MIS) and drawing against ACS Cobham in the round robin stage. In the knockout round, the team beat Düsseldorf and advanced to the finals against ACS Cobham. The team won 2-0 to claim the title. Yet again, varsity girls soccer dominated at ISSTs.

The undefeated team saw Martha Collins (’17), Elizabeth Bennett (’17), Taegen Kopfler (’17) and Lillie Atkins (’16) named to the all-tournament team.

Winning the title last year, the question entering the tournament was whether or not the team would be able to repeat its feat. Kopfler believes being defending champions had a twofold effect. “We were much more confident because we knew we were the team that the competition wanted to beat, but then again this also made it a little more stressful,” Kopfler said.

Caroline Dibble (’16) added to Kopfler’s statement about their mindset going into the tournament. “We learned that going into games that overconfidence really affected the pace that we played at and that in order to play our game, we had to find the right balance of confidence and intensity.”

Having lost two seniors last year, the team added four new players to its roster ahead of this season, which proved a significant change. “Although only losing two seniors does not sound like a lot, it makes you realise how important every member of the team is and how much they contribute,” she said.

Varsity girls soccer beat ACS Cobham to win ISSTs for a second consecutive season.

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For Kopfler, the turnover from last season to this season didn’t have a significant impact on the pitch due to the “team dynamic” already in place, but tactical differences did impact the team. “This season was different because we had people playing in new positions and had to adjust to the new team,” she said.

Although team chemistry wasn’t a problem, the team evolved tactically as new a formation was implemented after the departure. With varsity girls soccer having won two straight ISST titles, Dibble believes the win is a testament to “how strong the ASL girls soccer program is and will be in the years to come.”

With the 2-0 win over ACS Cobham being her final game of her high school soccer career, Dibble believes that winning ISSTs for a second straight time was a great moment. “As a senior, I could not have asked for a better way to end my soccer career,” she said.

Four seniors are set to depart for the upcoming season, with the program looking for continued success both on the varsity and JV levels after respective wins in their end of season competitions.