Varsity soccer emphasizes team bonding as league play commences


From left to right, Emily DeLossa ’20, Caitlin Mosch ’18, Stella Kraus ’20, Ariana Golpa ’20 and Ruby Colby ’19 pose during the scavenger hunt. The activity was held at the Third Street Promenade. Image courtesy of Mosch.

“Sisterhood” is a common theme at Archer, but the sense of family the school promotes is not purely limited to the classroom. That closeness extends to the soccer field too.

This year, the varsity soccer team’s motto is “Stronger Together,” which was selected by coach Kim Smith.

This motto came to life in recent team bonding organized by captains Caitlin Mosch ’18, Rachel Pike ’17 and Liadan Solomon ’17. The trio organized a team sleepover and scavenger hunt, held on Jan. 7, to help their team bond in preparation for Liberty League play.

“We are stronger as a team when we work together,” Pike wrote in a school-wide email.

This year’s varsity team includes six sophomores and eight freshmen, so this season is the first time many are on a team together.

“A lot of us aren’t used to each other, so the captains decided to have this sleepover in the beginning,” Mosch said. “At times on the field, we didn’t know each other as well as we should have.”

For the scavenger hunt, the Panthers were divided into three groups, each led by one captain. The small teams then competed against one another in challenges like eating a pretzel without their hands and doing yoga with a stranger.

“For us [the bonding activities] were about getting to know the younger players more,” Solomon said. “We haven’t had much time to do something fun off the field, so it was nice to see people come out of their shells.”

Following the scavenger hunt, the girls had a team sleepover, which included even more bonding activities such as relay races and the chubby bunny challenge.

“We’re in different grades and take different classes, so we might not know each other very well [outside of soccer]. Getting to see my teammates’ silly sides through the games really helped us get to know each other,” player Sidney Velasquez ’19 said. “Now that the regular season has started, we’re playing a lot better because we know each other as players and people.”

Since the team bonding, the Panthers have been on a winning streak.

The varsity soccer team poses after an 8-0 win against Trinity Classical Academy. This game was one of three preseason games for the Panthers. Image courtesy of Mosch.

“We’re still just finding out identity as a team,” Solomon said. “With every game we get a little closer to gelling on the field.

On Jan. 10 Archer beat Oakwood 3-0. Riley Adams ’20 scored one goal and Solomon two goals, with both assists coming from Adams.

Shortly after on Jan. 12, the Panthers defeated Milken 2-0.

“Now that we’ve played three games in league, I think we have our feet under us,” Pike said. “I think we can be really successful this year.”

Update, Jan. 18, 10:11 p.m.: On Jan. 17, the team continued their winning streak, with a 1-0 victory over rival Pacifica Christian. The team is currently ranked first in the Liberty League.