On Saturday, February 1, girls’ varsity soccer shut out Drake High School (4-0) to win the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL). Prior to this, Tam continued their undefeated season with a 3-0 win against Marin Catholic on January 11. Additionally, this year the team beat and tied Redwood and tied Branson (1-1) in a nail biter. Although they lost in an North Coast Section (NCS) game against Livermore with a score of 1-0, the team has held their own within the local league.
This is Tam’s first undefeated MCAL season ever, with a record of 13-0-2 as of February 5, 2020. Directly behind them are Redwood with a record of 10-1-3 and Branson with a record of 7-1-3. In 2018, Tam Girls Soccer won MCALs but this year the Red-Tailed Hawks have been on another level and have taken the league by storm over the past two months.
Junior Ellie Ryersen, who plays center forward or attacking mid, gave a lot of credit to the team’s younger players. “We got some new additions, some new sophomores who have really shown through and filled in for the positions that we did not have because of the graduating seniors,” Ryersen said.
However, the skill on the field is not the only thing that has brought the team success. Senior captain Lily Travers believes that the relationships between players has made a huge impact. “I think this year we have had the best team chemistry of all my four years; we have done a lot of team bonding this year from getting ice cream, to boba in the city,” Travers said. According to Travers, because of the connection off the field the team is able to support one another through knowledge of their teammate’s weaknesses and strengths.
Head coach Shane Kennedy said, “I think the team culture, leadership, and everybody pulling together and supporting each other. It is a very cohesive group so I would say that has made a difference.”
Kennedy believes that there is a clear standout on the defensive end of the field. “I think as a unit we defend really well but I would say our back seven are very very special. That is the foundation of every good team, the ability to defend. To win the ball in transition quickly, you know, and then keep the ball,” Kennedy said.
Ryersen also agrees that team bonding has come to make the team grow together.
“This year is amazing. The team is super close, we all love spending time together and it reflects on the field. It is the key to success,” Ryersen said.