Girls soccer overcomes obstacles in a successful season


Nick Wood

RUNNING DRILLS: Junior Wes Warmink runs a drill during practice. Varsity girls soccer went 7-9 for the season and placed 4th in district, with their season ending after losing their first playoff game.

Sydney Crum, Dispatch Reporter

The wind whips through her hair as she stands, ready to catch any soccer balls coming her way. The cheers of encouragement from her teammates give her a sense of confidence as she gets prepared to make the shot. Just as it looks like the other team’s goalie is going to catch the ball, it slips through their fingers and into the goal. The audience erupts in cheers as Bowie scores yet another point.

This past season, Bowie girl’s soccer persevered through many challenges including playing during a pandemic. Coach Carrie Hoffman-Howell explained how although there was a gradual start, the season ended up going very well.

“I felt that we finished the season well after a slow start,” Hoffman-Howell said. “We had a lot of new faces on varsity this year so we had a slow start adjusting to the level of varsity. I enjoyed watching this team come together and turn their season around.”

Sophomore Olivia Taylor feels that COVID has impacted Bowie soccer especially when it came to the recovery time for players who tested positive for the illness. 

“[COVID] did affect us pretty hard,” Taylor said. “When players got sick they couldn’t play until they were completely cleared with COVID. They also had to spend time training their bodies to be able to play again.”

Hoffman-Howell agrees with her about the effect that the pandemic had and points out there were fewer opportunities for players in terms of practicing and improving their skills.

“It has limited the opportunity for athletes to develop. Some strength and conditioning programs or practice opportunities are not as available as they were before COVID,” Hoffman-Howell said. “As this year progresses, more things are becoming available again, but early on, a lot of things had to be done at home or on their own instead of with teammates.”

Despite these struggles, Taylor feels great about how the season went because of the support from both her teammates and coaches.

“My favorite part about playing soccer at Bowie is that I enjoyed playing with a great team and having great coaches lead us to many victories,” Taylor said. “We had a successful season in my opinion. We played our absolute best and didn’t let anything hold us down or keep us away from trying to win.”

Freshman Peyton Schwartz agrees with her and also feels that the encouragement of her teammates lead to some of the best parts of the game.

“My favorite memory is when someone scores,” Schwartz said. “The whole team runs to you and celebrates. I remember when I had a header goal everyone ran up to me and gave high-fives.”

Taylor was also able to play as the goalkeeper for the first time this season. Although she says that it started out as being very difficult, she eventually improved through hard work and determination.

“One thing that I learned after playing this season is to never give up. I started this season pretty rough in my first tournament of the season,” Taylor said. “But when the next game came, I didn’t let any balls go through my legs and I didn’t let anyone score on me. That’s when I knew I couldn’t give up.”

Schwartz describes what a typical game for the freshman soccer team is like, and how the team working together has led to many successes for Bowie.

“A typical soccer game is fun, we work well together since we’re all club players,” Schwartz said. “Usually Bowie keeps possession for the majority of the game, and we tend to score goals very quickly.”

One game in particular that stood out to Taylor was the first game Bowie played against Westlake. She shares the excitement and pride she feels for how the team played that day.

“One of my favorite memories this season would be when we played against Westlake for the first time this season. It was my first time playing goalkeeper,” Taylor said. “In general, it was one of the best games I played in the season and one of my favorite memories with my team.”

At the end of the day, Hoffman-Howell hopes that the soccer players come away with good experiences and feel proud of themselves for their hard work.

“I hope they are able to walk away from this season with their heads held high because they really did a great job this year,” Hoffman-Howell said. “I hope they remember the good times, the friends made, and their love for Bowie soccer.”