The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

Meet the Staff
Olivia Nagel
Olivia Nagel
Yearbook Managing Editor

Olivia Nagel is a senior and is the Managing Editor of the Talon Yearbook. Outside of journalism, Olivia is involved with NHS, the swim team, and the writing center. Olivia enjoys reading, hanging out...

FEATURE: Kicking It Into Gear

Girls soccer overcomes challenges from last season
Archived+photo+by+Chloe+Cook
Chloe Cook
Archived photo by Chloe Cook

Following the loss to Garden City in overtime last year, Girls Soccer is heading back into the game. The girls are focusing on their strength, resilience and leadership to bring a new look to the program. 

Senior Regan Knapp is an outside back and midfielder. Knapp has played all four years.

“We were ahead of them score-wise the entire game, then we just got too comfortable, and ultimately fell short. . .” Knapp said. “Knowing what we know now, we’re not going to let that happen again, and we’re not going to let our season end that way again.”

The girls started pre-season training in January to get a head start. Varsity soccer coach Joseph Waldron stated that they started way earlier than in previous years. 

“In our offseason, we had weights and we had conditioning sessions. . .” Waldron said. “We had senior-led outdoor conditioning sessions as well. Basically, anyone who is interested in playing, gets together and works on technical fitness.”

Waldron made the decision to start cuts this year based on the number of people trying out. However, when news spread that Waldron was doing cuts, many left early or didn’t participate in tryouts at all. As a result of the many players that left, there is no more C-Team for girls soccer, leaving only Varsity and JV.

“a lot of people signed up were just going to give soccer a try, and then they just decided not to give it a try. . .” Waldron said. “We’ve had a number of people over the last couple of years say, ‘I’ve never played before.’ It’s like any other sport you know, it’s hard to jump in.”

Putting more responsibility on players, the girls are striving to make sure they are performing to their best ability no matter the roadblocks. Varsity player Sophia Christie expresses how this shift will motivate her as well as her teammates to take ownership of their development and success, therefore driving them to elevate their performance in every match.

“We have many leaders on the team. . .” Christie said. “Especially the seniors, who always bring good energy and make sure the team is staying motivated and having fun on and off the field. They understand when mistakes are made but push you to take accountability.”

Although many players agree that Girls Soccer isn’t looked at as a successful program, Knapp expressed their goal of improving their standings, which have typically been at the bottom or near it. Knapp wants to prove to fans that they are better than how they perceive them. 

“We’ve never been a team that’s had an impressive record, and girls soccer has never been one of the stronger programs, I would like to change that this year and be taken a little bit more seriously as a program. . .” Knapp said. “Being close as a team definitely reflects how you play an actual game. So we have a bunch of team bonding planned, so I want to get super close with the girls so that you can see our connection on the field.”

The Lady Firebirds soccer schedule is on their Instagram, @Firebird_soccer, or you can find it online under Free State Athletics.

About the Contributors
Arianna Waller
Arianna Waller, Reporter
Arianna Waller is a sophomore at Free State. She is excited to be returning for her second year on the journalism staff as a reporter. Outside of journalism and school, she is a competition dancer at her local studio, ‘Dance Gallery.’ She also enjoys hanging out with her friends and family.
Chloe Cook
Chloe Cook, News Photo Editor
Chloe Cook is a junior at Free State and is one of the News Photo Editors. This is her second year on staff. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling and being outdoors.
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