Varsity soccer wins first two games of playoffs, reflects on season


Photo credit: Rachel Pike

The varsity team poses for a picture after one of their games. The team won their second playoff game against Nordhoff on Feb. 8. They play Jurupa Valley in the quarterfinals on Feb. 12.

After an hour and a half game in cold weather, the Archer varsity soccer team stood in unison as junior Sophie Larbalestier took what would be the winning penalty kick in the first round of the CIF playoffs.

“When I was walking up to take the [penalty kick,] I was nervous,” Larbalestier said. “It kind of came down to if I made it or if I missed.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Archer varsity soccer team gathered on Santa Monica College’s soccer field to play Pacifica Christian Orange County in the first game of CIFs.   The team won the game after scoring two penalty kicks in overtime.

Larbalestier explained that her soccer team gave her the support she needed to execute the play.

“I was doing it for my team, so I just had the confidence to just find the spot where I was going to shoot,” Larbalestier said.

Before the game, senior goalie Sophia Fink was “nostalgic” heading into her last playoff season.

“I feel as though the disappointments and setbacks the team has experienced from the last three years of round one playoff game defeats has strengthened the team resolve and made us want to fight harder,” Fink said. “As a senior, I’m feeling extra determined to play my hardest just because I know it could potentially be my last game playing for Archer ever. “

Sophomore and soccer player Stella Chuck explained that their season has been going well so far, as the team has remained undefeated.

Ella Tollman ’19 was joined by other students, parents and teachers in watching the game.

“The feeling was really incredible — to watch all of the girls run towards each other after making that final goal,” Tollman said. “It was definitely a moment I won’t forget.”

Co-captain Jenna Marks has been on the team for four years and is “proud” to have won the game.

“Just to know that in the past four or five years we haven’t gotten past the first round, so to know that we are going to the second round, that’s very exciting,” Marks said. “So many people believe in us… to see their support on the sideline, and how they really showed their enthusiasm and their love for our team just meant a lot and it really pushed us through.”

The team won their second playoff game against Nordhoff on Feb. 8.  They play Jurupa Valley in the quarterfinals on Feb. 12.

Watch the team’s reaction to the winning penalty kick below.