Shooting for improvement

GIRLS SOCCER The Lady Brahmas end league competition with one win, going 6-12-5 overall.



Junior midfielder Brianna Valdez surveys the field for an open teammate.

Samyuktha Vellaiyan, Staff Writer

Though the players lost some confidence on the field after only winning one league game, with an overall record of 1-7-2, the Diamond Bar High School girls soccer team are looking ahead to improving next season, both individually and as a team.

“I would say that we need to work on our confidence because we lost a little bit of that. You go through that slump, you lose your groove, you lose yourself, and you have to fight to get that back,” said senior Samantha Blazek, who served as captain and goalkeeper.

The Lady Brahmas ended this season with losses against South Hills, 3-1, and Claremont, 1-0. The girls tied with the Ayala Bulldogs, 3-3. Although the Lady Brahmas tied for last in the Palomares League, they saw improvement, as they had closer matches towards the end of season than what they had in the beginning.

“We had finally won one of our first league games, and it was against a top two team,” Blazek said. “Since then, we have been doing really well and finding our groove, which is really good because we know that we have improved and how to improve for next year.”

According to junior Samantha Hong, the team’s lack of confidence prevented many players from playing good offense and scoring goals.

“We need to work on offense because it will help with our drive to want to score not only for our team but for ourselves too,” Hong said.

The team will feel the absence of  seven seniors, including top players Blazek and Marissa Vasquez, when they compete again next school year.  

“My favorite experience is just having fun with everyone and enjoying the game. The games that we did win and competed in, we always had fun,” Blazek said.

One of the major hurdles the girls had to overcome was the introduction of new players to the varsity team. Based on the varsity roster, half of the team consisted of freshmen and sophomores, and adjusting to playing with the new teammates has been a challenge.

“I see them being a lot more confident in themselves [next season] because this year was about introducing a lot of new players to varsity level, which made it difficult for team bonding, but I feel like this year’s just the beginning and that next year they are going to find their groove and do their best,” Hong said.

The coaching staff, led by head coach Matt Franco, was extremely helpful when it came to giving moral support and narrowing down mistakes, according to the captain.

“Our coach is very good at supporting us. He has never let our heads down. He always told us what we needed to work on and he improves and works on those specific things,” Blazek said.

With all of this in mind, Blazek believes the girls will perform miracles next season.

“I really do think that they have a good chance in getting into playoffs next year because this year was an introductory season for them with a lot of new rookies, but next year they are all going to be experienced varsity players,” Blazek said.

Senior midfielder Meg Epino dribbles the ball in a 3-1 loss against South Hills.