Lady Brahmas coming up just short

With a mainly defensive team, girls soccer has had trouble scoring but Coach Franco has high hopes for the team.


Eric Hong

Junior Reena Kang defends the ball against the Bonita Bearcats as they try to steal the ball on Jan 19.

Sophia Kim, Staff Writer

The Diamond Bar High School girls varsity soccer team’s season did not start well, with three consecutive losses. However, the team has since improved with its first win, against Bonita, on Jan. 19 to bring its record to 1-3.

According to head coach Matt Franco, the team had stable ball control and teamwork throughout its first three league matches. However, scoring was a problem, as the team’s improvement is mostly defensive. As a result, the Lady Brahmas lost their first three games against Ayala, South Hills, and Claremont, each short by one goal.

“The outcomes aren’t as expected, so if we scored a couple more goals our record would be a lot better,” Franco said.

Having numerous young members on the varsity team, Franco states that the players have the potential to win many of their future games. Freshman defender, Elisa Kolek and junior defender Delaney Donohue have stepped up for the team, kicking out as many potential goals the other team could have scored.

“Two of them in the back are a big reason why we’re doing so well defensively,” Franco said. “They have good chemistry back there, and they’re working really well together.”

As for scoring, the team has many talented offensive players who just need to live up to their potential.

Freshman Olivia Valdivia, sophomores Valerie Swisher and Jaclyn Martinez, and junior Reena Kang could all be offensive threats, according to Franco. Despite the lack of scoring in the first three games of the season, juniors Kayla Pak and Olivia Valdivia each scored a goal against Bonita, leading to their first win of the season.

“We had a lot chances to score and hit the post a few times, which was exciting,” sophomore Meg Epino said.

To help the girls during the games, Franco likes to remind them to touch the ball around more quickly. With faster moves, the girls are able to control the game better. In addition, he likes to make sure his girls are confident and calm throughout the game.

“I’m not a real fancy type of coach that wants them to do all these technical moves,” he said. “It’s just keeping it simple, knowing their space, and moving the ball around without holding it down too long.”

With a challenging preseason set up by their coach, the Lady Brahmas quickly adjusted to the league season, both mentally and physically.

During the preseason matches, over 10 girls were out due to their health, but are now in better condition for the season. In addition, the girls are more comfortable with each other, leading to better performance. The lady Brahmas ended their preseason with a record was 3-4-5.

“I believe we have the talent to make it to playoffs,” Franco said. “Whether it’s a one two or three seed, even a wild card, I think if we do get in to CIF, we can make a big impact there.”