Seniors Ali Kiley, Lindsay Cayton, Leandra Ramlo and Reanna Wauer are all on the 2015-2016 Archer Varsity Soccer team. The Oracle sat down with the four seniors to discuss their goals for the season, love for soccer and new positions as the senior leaders.
What is your favorite thing about soccer?
AK: I think my favorite part is the team and the relationships I’ve made, and I think that’s been a big part of why I choose to come back every year. I’ve made a lot of friends, and it’s great not only getting better individually but as a team. It means so much more if you succeed as a team and know that you’ve made a lot of progress together.
LC: I would probably also say it’s the team. Everyone always talks about how the soccer team’s so close, and I think that really makes it because if the team wasn’t so close and we weren’t all working together — on and off the field — then it wouldn’t be as fun. Everyone’s just so comfortable with each other. I remember being a freshman, and everyone was so welcoming. I definitely couldn’t have made it through the first practice without everyone being so great.
LR: I agree. I think it’s pretty hard to say otherwise because I think the foundation of the team really is the relationships we make and then going through everything — the wins and the losses — with other people makes it a lot more meaningful. I think it just translates into how you play. Half of soccer is your mental game, and when you have the support system of a team it’s a lot easier to progress and make yourself better.
RW: I used to do gymnastics, and that transition from a very individual sport to a team sport was cool. I had good relationships in gymnastics, but in soccer it’s so much more important that the relationships are good because it affects how we work together. It’s fun to have good relationships, but it’s also really important for playing.
How does playing at Archer compare with other teams you’ve played on?
LC: It’s different because at Archer the team is also your classmates, so you see them throughout the day and not just on the field. We really get to hang out and bond, especially when we take trips. It’s fun to be able to have that different connection.
AK: I think something that’s cool about varsity is that you have people ranging from ages 14 to 18, so you have an experience that you don’t have on club where everyone’s pretty much the same age. You get to be like a little sister and be playing with the older kids. Then you get to be an older sister and be playing with the kids that are younger. There’s growth over the four years where we all progress every year and become better leaders, and then by senior year we’re really able to lead.
LR: I think that’s a good point. It’s interesting seeing the growth of the team — being a freshman versus being a senior. You see how far you’ve come, and you can reflect back on your past experiences. There are very distinct time periods you remember — being a freshman and being a sophomore. For outside of school soccer, all those times sort of blend together.
How is the season shaping up?
LC: Well, we’ve had three games. We were sort of testing the waters. We had a loss, a win and a tie.
AK: I think it’s going well so far; we have a very new team. We lost a lot of players last year. We lost four seniors — two who had been captains for two years, and we lost a lot of other players too, who weren’t seniors. We have a very different team than we had last year, but I think it’s going to be a great season.
How do you prepare for games? What would a typical practice look like?
AK: On the way to games we really like to play loud music and get really excited. During the day we try to eat healthy food and drink a lot of water the night before and the day of for the electrolytes. When we see each other in the halls we’ll shout “game day!” and get each other excited.
LC: We do a “juggle circle” which gets everyone really pumped up.
AK: We do possession, which is like a practice four on four, with two defenders in the middle. We do some shooting and different types of passing to warm up. Right before [the game] we’ll do a sprint.
Are there any major goals that you have for the season?
LR: I think it’s always a goal to get to the finals. We always want to win league, which I think is a very realistic goal. It’s realistic, but we’ve never gone to finals. We’ve gotten close, and we’ve been in the final four, but never in the championship.
LC: I think the championship would be really cool, especially because we’re seniors. And because volleyball matched us this year by going to the final four. So we’ve got to beat them!