Shooting for the top: Wildcats set sights on championship run

Joshua Singer

More stories from Joshua Singer


Photo courtesy of WJ Windup

The girls’ soccer team celebrates scoring a goal during the 2021 season. After losing to the Whitman Vikings in the regional semi-final last year, the Wildcats have high state championship aspirations for 2022.

Challenges. Confidence. Championship. After a tough loss in the playoffs to the eventual state champion Whitman Vikings in 2021, the girls’ soccer team is back and ready to take another shot at a state championship victory. The Wildcats are confident that this is their year and that all of their hard work and practice will be shown with a banner at the end of the season.

“I’m looking forward to going to states because I think we really have a good chance this year and we have a great team,” junior outside back Quinn Garrett said.

The squad has many returning players which helped allow the team to start out the preseason with already knowing each other and the style of play. This made it so that the Wildcats could use the preseason to refine their skills and keep getting stronger as a team.

“This team is already a veteran team. We have a really strong senior core. We did a lot of teaching last year and this preseason has been a little less teaching because we were so teaching oriented last year so we just hit the ground running. There was already that chemistry there and we’ve really just been adjusting and fine tuning,” head coach Josh Kinnetz said.

The Wildcats are looking towards the first few games of the season to keep building on what they have been working on in practice. Trying to set up more scoring opportunities by catching the defense off guard has been one of the focus points of this preseason.

“The team is most focused on being able to use our central players to quickly switch the point of attack as well as creating movement off the ball by making dynamic runs that will break the opponent’s lines,” senior center defensive midfielder Julia Lebron-Echandy said.

Fans should be on the lookout for a lot of goals as this year’s team is very strong offensively.

“Our [biggest] strength is our attacking. We have Irene [Burgueno-Sanchez], Emily [Akpebu] and Caroline [Williams]. Everyone on the attack, they are very good finishers [as well as] being fast and quick,” senior captain and forward/left wing Aranda Hurge said.

Looking later on in the season, the Wildcats have some challenging games that may likely end up defining the end of their season.

“Late September we play Wootton which we lost to last year, so we’re ready for revenge this season. And in early October we play Whitman which we lost to in [the] semi-finals last year. Those are two of the toughest teams we play, so I’m excited for those,” Lebron-Echandy said.

The Wildcats first game is Friday Sept. 9 at National Cathedral School (DC) at 5:45 p.m. and their first home opener is against Blake High School on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7:15 p.m.