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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

Girls soccer team builds unity

Senior+Ashley+Karam+hugs+junior+Cara+Pham+during+their+game+against+George+C.+Marshall+High+School.+CHS+lost+1-0.+Photo+used+with+permission+of+David+Mclean.%0A
David Mclean
Senior Ashley Karam hugs junior Cara Pham during their game against George C. Marshall High School. CHS lost 1-0. Photo used with permission of David Mclean.

As the ball soars from a player’s foot into the goal, the girls varsity soccer team, cheering in unison, charges towards their teammate, the team won this game 7-0 against Falls Church High School. Throughout the season, the girls soccer team has worked to improve their chemistry both on and off the field.

After the final day of tryouts, the soccer team immediately started to include team bonding. The first bonding event held was a newbies’ breakfast on March 8, welcoming the eight new varsity players.

“At the start of the season, I didn’t know many people on the team and I didn’t have many expectations for the team,” freshman varsity defender Sydney Mercadante said. “Now, after a few bonding events, I have made new friendships and I feel much closer and connected with my team. I think the newbies’ breakfast was a great ice breaker for building a relationship with the team.”

Team Tactics addresses team building as an opportunity to create a healthy environment that can lead to success. The website also cites that teams who don’t participate in bonding outside of the sport often face conflicts throughout the season that can interfere with the teams performance.

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“This year I’ve noticed how much closer the team is than last year,” sophomore varsity attacker Abby Goodman said. “The overall chemistry on our team is more noticeable; there are more friendships causing more positive mindsets, which I think have caused us to play better.”

According to Yale University, playing on a team with a constructive and healthy environment brings various viewpoints. With a variety of perspectives shared, the success rate can be increased. The ability to have a healthy team environment can be specified to the term “psychological safety” which advocates engagement, creativity, and innovation.

“I think our team will be successful this year because we enjoy each other’s company and everyone comes to practice with a smile on their face ready to work hard and prepare for the next game,” senior center midfielder Ashley Karam said. “Girls soccer at Chantilly is a really positive environment and we all love to be there together, and we all love to win, of course, so I believe we will be successful.”

Some of the expectations for the team are for the players to actively work on improving their technique and tactical understanding along with maintaining good sportsmanship.

“The overall collaboration our team has makes us play better,” Mercadante said. “The closeness of the team has made my love for the sport grow more. I find that I am able to be more loose when playing because of the laughter and fun I can share with my team during games and practices.”

According to the National Library of Medicine, including leadership within a team can positively impact the performance and overall well being of the team. The soccer team has three captains who help fulfill this leadership role: senior Ashley Karam, junior Sydney Erickson and senior Peyton Bibbee.

“My main focus this year as a senior is to bring a positive environment to every practice and game and be a leader and mentor for all my teammates,” Karam said. “I always want to make my teammates feel confident when they are playing and help them on and off the field with whatever they need.”

The team still has various ideas and planned bonding events throughout the season. Some of these events include going to dinners before or after games, karaoke, a Just Dance party, car wash fundraiser and a scavenger hunt.

The soccer team has so far shown improvement from their performance last year with having a record of 3-8-2, to a record of 5-1-1 this year with their only loss against South lakes. The team’s next game is on April 26 against Oakton High School.

“I have a feeling this season is going to be very fun and exciting and I can’t wait to play with this team,” Goodman said.

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Gabby Roper
Gabby Roper, Staff Writer
Gabby is a freshman in her first year with The Purple Tide. She spends the majority of her free time pursuing her love for the sport of volleyball. Gabby enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends and watching baseball.
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