Girls Soccer Makes History: 1st State Championship!
November 29, 2017
By Coach Nicole Gabelein
This year’s King’s girls’ soccer team started out with more freshmen than upperclassman, which brought excitement about where they were headed, but also thoughts that this might be a rebuilding year with a lot of work to do. The team wasn’t ready to settle for just rebuilding. Instead, they won the state championship.
Early in the season, the program focused on instilling qualities that would build a stronger foundation of their faith while encouraging both fun and hard work on the field. It was important that everyone on the team felt loved and accepted. Challenges would come and so would mistakes, and that was okay. Each team member was encouraged to share what inspires her to compete at her best, so they would know how to motivate each other. They envisioned how an ideal team would treat each other, talk to each other, take care of each other and then set out to create it. The program couldn’t have achieved what they did without the consistent reinforcement and leadership of the upperclassman lead by team captains Emma Fleming and Katie Stella.
Most of all, they learned how to play for each other. What developed is a compassionate, competitive team culture. And that is what makes up the characteristics of this championship team.
The Knights were ready to show what kind of storm they could bring. Throughout the season they talked about weathering the storm and then being the storm. It was in the Championship game that they showed they had more to give: They had the ability to dig deep and to compete in big games. The grit, determination and tenacity that was needed for a Championship game showed itself. They played with focused intensity and inspired each other. They were the storm.
In the final game, the Knights were down 0-1 just minutes after halftime. They played from behind most of the half, but one by one the upperclassman ran by saying “we are not going to lose today.” That was contagious, and soon the Knights were peppering the opposing goal with shots. Callie Wright headed the ball to Katie Stella who perfectly volleyed the ball into the back of their net. Tied 1-1. Overtime came with much of the same intensity. The knights were going to a shootout. Having practiced often, they were ready!
Thanks to a hard battle on the field, the kickers were able to finish the win. The King’s shooters included Callie Wright, Emma Fleming, Katie Stella, Sarah Nielsen, Lauren Blair, Delaney Peterson, Taylor Faris and bringing it home freshman Annie Rasmussen.