Excitement to play reaching a fever pitch


The women’s soccer team has high hopes for this coming season. With only three graduates last year, the majority of the team will be returning determined to make it to state. Last season, the team missed state by one game, but that loss only sparked the fire in them to start this season with a bang.

Head Coach Jill Leibforth will be returning for her second season, and she is ready.

“I expect us to have a really good season. Because last year was my first year, I was figuring out where everyone plays best and whom they play best with,” Leibforth said. “Now that we have that out of the way, this season is definitely going to be a good one. Everyone is at different levels, but it is great to see how well they work together despite that.”

The team suffered a few injuries last season, with sprained ankles and concussions. But they don’t compare to the loss of two significant players, Jillian Atkinson and Leni Grap, ‘19, who both tore their ACLs. Both Atkinson and Grap have been cleared for the beginning of the season, which means they are both thrilled to return to play.

“I am very excited to come back. I am worried about my knee and everything, but I am eager to be with the team again,” said Atkinson. “Even though my recovery had a couple setbacks, it all was part of the process.”

Grap tore her meniscus along with her ACL, but she is just as ready as Atkinson.

“I am excited to get back on the field. I have played soccer for so long that it was hard to imagine that I might have not been able to help the team this year,” Grap said. “But I am looking forward to the season and everything it has to hold.”

As for the rest of the team, they couldn’t be more psyched for their upcoming season. Many of them have continued to play soccer throughout the year.

“I go to open gyms and run with a part of the team before the open gym starts. I also shoot the ball and keep in shape for soccer,” said Libby Perry, ‘20.

Along with Perry, Maya Wachter, ‘21, is staying involved with the sport.

“I have been playing club soccer mostly all year round. I also attend open gyms, get the team together to do activities like running, and get some touches in before the season starts,” Wachter said. Perry will be returning for her third season, while Wachter is returning for her second.

The women’s soccer season officially begins with practices on March 18, and their first game on April 4.