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the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Girls soccer strives to continue success

Farris Duwayri
Senior goalkeeper and co-captain Ellie Palaian has been on the team for all four years and has hopes of taking her team to the State Finals.

After back to back deep playoff runs, the girls soccer team prepares to aim even higher for its upcoming season with new head coach Silvia Riet, who will be overseeing both the girls and boys teams. 

Riet has a variety of past coaching experience, formerly coaching at Sandy Creek High School for 25 years before coming to Midtown.

“We had a pretty decent program,” Riet said. “Last year we actually won the region and we made it to the playoffs almost every year that I coached there. We’ve always had a decent program. I also coach the boys there, same thing.”

Last year, the girls advanced to the Elite Eight and were GHSA 5A State runner up in the 2021-22 season. Riet believes her new training style can contribute to further success this season.

“Every coach has their own style; we don’t say one is better than the other. I’m coming in, and I definitely have a different style than they’re probably used to, and that’s really what practices are for,” Riet said. “Practice is where we get to know each other. I think with the players that we have, my playing style will fit into the skills they bring.”

Senior co-captain Ellie Palaian sees the promise in Riet as a good fit for the team.

“I think coach Riet is going to be very good for this team,” Palaian said. “From my interactions with her, she is very determined to succeed, and she believes that we can go very far this season.”

Conditioning hosted by Riet gave the opportunity for players to train for tryouts and adjust to the team.

“There have been some conditioning practices that were optional for both the boys and the girls teams,” Palaian said. “They have been going on for the past couple of weeks and have been a really great opportunity for a lot of the underclassmen to meet the team.”

Riet says the pre-tryout conditioning also gave her a good chance to meet new players.

“A lot of the younger kids have come out,” Riet said. ”That’s been really good for me because I’ve gotten to know them. This being my first year, I don’t know everyone. This has been helpful for me, really more than for them.

Sophomore Halle Prevost said that throughout tryouts and conditioning the team has already started to adjust to Riet’s unique coaching techniques.

“I think the team has done well adjusting to her coaching style,” Prevost said. “Especially in tryouts, it has been kind of hands off with her, just letting us showcase our skills rather than being on top of us the whole time. However, I think the team has adjusted well and will benefit from a different coaching style.” 

Riet says she has already observed the team and believes the players have a variety of skills that she can build off of.

“For one, I see that they’re friends,” Riet said. “They get along well. Again, the playing aspect of it is important, but also the community aspect of it is very important. So that’s one thing that I’m counting on building on. The other thing is they’re very skilled. All of these players are very skilled players, and I always say that coaching is basically putting a jigsaw puzzle together. I’Il need to build on seeing who works well together, in my style, of course.

Most players, like senior Allie Planeaux, participate in club soccer seasons, helping them  prepare for their high school season.

“I have been playing a lot of club soccer this year, plus doing a lot of strength training, so I think I have gotten a lot better and more fit this season, and hopefully that will show in high school soccer this year,” Planeaux said. 

Riet says she plans to build off past year’s successes to grow the team to an even higher level than before.

“We’re starting at a point where we’re already at a high level,” Riet said. “So, now it’s like, ‘okay, how do I get them to just go up a notch?’’’

The girls have won their region the past three seasons, and have optimistic hopes for the upcoming season.

“I think we have a very good chance of making it to the state finals,” Palaian said. “I know some other teams, especially the ones that have caused us trouble in the past, have lost a lot of their players. So, this is the year to take advantage of that and get as far in the playoffs as possible, and hopefully, a state championship trophy for the team.”

Riet said she is passionate about taking the team far and to a state championship.

“I have one hope, wish and desire, and that is to win state,” Riet said.  “They’re a very talented group of players. My hope is that I can bring in some fresh ideas and that I can build on the things that they’ve already done, and hopefully they’ll be excited with the ideas I bring.”

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About the Contributors
Julia Barton
Julia Barton, Writer
Julia Barton is a sophomore and this is her first year writing for the Southerner. She enjoys volleyball and hanging out with her friends. She is excited to write for the Southerner this year.
Farris Duwayri
Farris Duwayri, News Associate Managing Editor
Farris Duwayri is a junior and this is his third year on the staff. He enjoys playing Midtown's football team and debate team. He likes cars and hanging out with friends

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