While there are many fall sports teams to go and watch on a Saturday afternoon, the stands of the Girls Varsity Soccer game this year have been as full as any. From their first scrimmage against the Steinert High School to their most recent game against Mercersburg Academy, the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team has proved that they are a force to be reckoned with this year. After playing Mercersburg this past Saturday, Girls’ Varsity Soccer was one of the many Lawrenceville teams who walked away with a win. The game marked the teams’ first Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) competition this season, as the team will play Peddie, Blair, Hun, and Hill in the coming weeks.
With their current record of two wins, three losses, and two draws, the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team seems to be really getting in their stride. Captain Julia Chiang ’23, a member of the team since her II Form year, agrees. “I think our team is off to a really good first half of the season.” she said. “Although our record might not portray how hard we’ve been working, I think we’ve had a really difficult lineup for our schedule for the first half, and our team has really been working hard in practice.”
Upon receiving the role of captain in the Spring of 2022, Chiang welcomed the position and change but struggled with adjusting in the position. “[II Form] year, I was a super quiet person, but of course being captain requires you to be a little more vocal, so I think I’m still learning things about being a captain.” she says. While getting used to the position, she took inspiration from her II Form year captain, Ellie Vogel ’20. “I looked up to [Vogel] so much, she was super supportive in all aspects of my Lawrenceville life, not only soccer. I even got to play with her younger sister [Mandy Vogel ’22], so both of the sisters have very much shaped my Lawrenceville experience both on the field and off.”
The win against Mercersburg this past Saturday was an important win for the team as their first MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) game. With only one shot for each game, the pressure is on for each game to be won. “It feels really good to get that first MAPL win under our belt.We really dominated that game and I think it gave us the confidence that we need to keep on winning in the MAPL,” Chiang remarked. After a less-than-ideal season last year coming out of the COVID pandemic, this year’s team is proving that they can compete with other prep schools in the region.
Chiang’s favorite moment this year was the recent victory against the team’s rival Princeton Day School. “It’s always a good match against them,” shesays, “so it was really nice to come through with our first win of the season. It was a really close game, and everyone worked really hard in the game and stayed super positive even if they didn’t get minutes, which I really loved.”
As for goals for the remaining half of the season, Along with co-captain Rory Murphy ’23, Chiang aims to create stronger bonds within the team, saying,“I think last year we were a little disconnected in terms of team chemistry. We’re off to a really good start, especially because we have a lot of new girls on our team. It's been really good that the returners have been very welcoming to the new [II Formers], new [III Formers], and everybody else.”
Even though their record might not show it, the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team is off to a solid start. After winning against both Mercersburg and PDS, the team has shown that they are a force to be reckoned with this season. “I think we have a really good shot at the MAPL title this year,” Chiang said, “Our team is looking very strong, and just looking at other team’s records, we can compete with every single team out there.