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Girls soccer thrives after a difficult start to the season, winning their last five games

Holland Luedtke
The team celebrates after Tatum Gentry (09) scores a goal against Evergreen High School on March 26, 2024. With five goals, Gentry is tied with Braely Martinez (10) for the team’s top goal scorer.

The girls soccer team has started off the season with some unfortunate injuries and difficult opponents, but they’re making strides at becoming a family. 

Taking on some new faces, both new to the school and new to the team, the girls team is finding new ways to win with key players absent this year. Ella Moody (12) fell to an ACL injury during pre-season training. Moody, committed to play for Denver University’s girls soccer team, was one of the most influential players, creating opportunities in the second and final third of the field. 

Hanna McKay (11) returns to her defensive position after the ball goes out for a throw in. McKay helped get several opportunities against Rocky Mountain High School. (Holland Luedtke)

Hanna McKay (11) is one of the players who has stepped up to fill in the gap. McKay, coming off of a successful sophomore season and club season with Colorado Rush Girls Academy, has been a major influence in the mid-field, having several assists to start off the 2024 season. McKay said, “I help my team be successful in the mid-field by being constantly available to switch the point of attack.” This year McKay earned the title of captain for the team through her hard work and leadership on and off the field; however, she isn’t quite 100%.

McKay suffered from a lower-back and hip injury during a tournament with her club team in November and has been dealing with the recovery ever since: “I’ve been doing lots of physical therapy and seeing my chiropractor to help get me back to 100%,” McKay said.

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McKay also earned the position of captain this season alongside two of her teammates. As a junior it is a big honor to be a captain and McKay is one who takes the responsibility seriously: “Being a captain is holding the responsibility for your actions and your team’s actions on and off the field, and it’s something I take very seriously.”

Ambry Plate (10) receives a ball in the mid-field and looks to find another pass toward goal. The team ended the game with a 4-1 victory against Evergreen High School on March 26, 2024. (Holland Luedtke)

Ambry Plate (10) and Braely Martinez (10) are McKay’s partners in crime in the midfield. Together the three create a lot of opportunities in the mid-field for the team. Plate said, “It works out really well. We’ve been playing together since we were 6 years old, so we have built up that chemistry over time.” 

Starting off the season in a notable way, Leah Bacon (11), broke a school record in only the second game of the season, making the most saves in one game with 15 against Fossil Ridge High School. Bacon started off her freshman year splitting time with Leah Scott (’23) — an Erie student who played for Windsor — but earned the starting spot her sophomore year.  

Bacon also earned the title of captain this year after racking up a number of saves, assists and goals during her sophomore season all the while leading the team in every way she knows how: “This year I’m privileged to be a captain. On the field I’m a pretty big voice for our team, I keep us organized defensively …. Off the field I just try to be a kind face for everybody, being someone who they are comfortable to come talk to,” Bacon said. 

Leah Bacon (11) punts the ball after making a save. Bacon made 15 saves against Fossil Ridge High School, achieving a new school record. (Tristyn Bruning)

Although it has been a slow start to the season (going 2-3 in the first five games), it is starting to look up with a tie against Rocky Mountain High School on April 5 and wins in all five of their last games.

Despite the rough start, the team still wants to accomplish becoming more united and having a winning season. Bacon said, “At the beginning of the season we all got together and made three goals. First was a combined goal of winning a conference championship then a state championship … our second goal is to just be able to get along with each other and be friends … our third goal was to buy in. Buy into the program, buy into our ideas, just buy in.” 

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Tristyn Bruning
Tristyn Bruning, Co-Editor
Tristyn Bruning is a junior at Windsor High School, the co-editor of the newspaper, the design and photography editor for the yearbook and the varsity boys' soccer goalkeeper. He has great ambitions to earn an admission to the United States Naval Academy.
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