The 2022 UA Seventh Grade Soccer team challenged for top honors once again. Although we fell just short, we had great opportunities during the championship title defense. The style of the team was characterized by ball-hungry, aggressive play embossed by dominating possession. Our girls averaged more than 12 shots on goal per game, which far surpassed our opponents’ attempts. The scoring leaders for the team were Ava Schlaudecker, Quinn Brannan, and Autumn Green. For another year, experienced Coach Brannan marshalled the team into battle for the season.
The team pulled together with ever improving play from this group of seasoned veterans. Many of the girls had been playing together for Ursuline Academy soccer since third grade. A highlight for the season came against Trinity Episcopal School on their brand-new athletic surface with a stormwater retention system under the turf. Autumn Green, playing as goalie, launched a punt that fleet-footed 7th grader Sanai Hunter escorted into the opposite net. Shots on goal were never hard to find among this group. Our State Street Seventh Soccer Squad controlled the statistical categories of shots, shots on target, possession, passes, and pass accuracy in matches versus the Academy of the Sacred Heart and John Curtis earlier in the season.
Impavid 7th grader Quinn Brannan organized the team as a commanding captain – making the move from defensive midfielder to attacking midfielder based on what she was seeing on the pitch either hammering dreamy shots from distance or shutting down the best player from the opposition. Lion-hearted 7th grader Ava Schlaudecker scorched the playing fields with her torching speed and blistering shots – scoring the most goals for the team in the playoffs. Valiant 7th grader Autumn Green demonstrated her varied skills as talented goalkeeper, attacking midfielder, and dangerous striker – imposing combustible shots on goal. Mighty 7th grader Sanai Hunter led from the front in this strong group as she got the ball settled, dribbling, and forging attacks menacing opposing goalies with shot after shot. Spectacular 7th grader Kaylyn Parent served as pivot player swinging runs from the back end – cutting through opponents with her Coerver moves and frequently had enormous throw-ins - high up the pitch to spark offensive shot production for the Lions. Dazzling 7th grader Zoe Bonner torched past the back line of any team with cutting moves and serving through balls to fellow leonine wingers in addition to fabricating shot opportunities. Remarkable 7th grader Maria Rioja impressed as the architect of midfield intricate passing as she challenged opponents – seizing the ball from opponents as she restarted the Lion attack. Relentless 7th grader Maryn Huber started the season playing shot-stopper (goalie), but quickly demonstrated quick feet and aspirations of taking many shots on frame – at which she excelled. Incredible 7th grader Alexa Sauce began the season playing wingback, but soon found a new gear exciting grateful fans in the later part of the season when she continually joined the attack. Spectacular 7th grader Alana Sauce was key to the Lions’ counterattack especially when high pressing to create opportunities down the line – masterminding possession dominance for quality shot opportunities on goal. Marvelous 6th grader Lydia Brown was crucial to the attacking output - impressively rifling several shots every time she took the pitch. Fantabulous 6th grader Reagan Williams dominated from the goalkeeper position in several games this season by her clutch saves, booming punts, and visionary goal kick restarts. Audacious 6th grader Lilly Fischer generated intense pressure on opponents playing as holding midfielder and superb striker, slapping crisp passes to teammates and attacking the goal.
The team qualified for the NOAL Tournament. The team played against evenly matched opposition in last year’s runner up Isidore Newman School. Our Lions team once again controlled the statistical categories of shots, shots on target, possession, passes, and pass accuracy. This cruel game had the match tied at 1-1, though the Lions commanded the stats, when a ball careened off the referee. The referee restarted play on the Lions half of the pitch with a drop ball that Newman drilled into the Lions backend – handing the Greenies a breakaway goal for the win.
This was a special season for our girls and families. These have clearly been some of the best days of our lives – so far!
Proud to be a Lion!