Pope Francis Preparatory School continues Girl’s Soccer dominance
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Girls’ soccer program at Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield has proven to be one of the toughest in the region for the last 2.5 years.
Coming off a Class C championship and making the statewide Division IV round of 16, the Cardinals have remained strong, impressing first-year head coach Brent Dillard.
“Everyone’s bought into us being ‘team first.’ everyone’s bought into us being successful together, and we have a lot of players that play soccer year-round,” said Dillard.
It has been a season to remember for the red and black.
They are undefeated through their first seven matches, outscoring their opponents 43-1 and averaging six goals per game.
Seniors Keira Fitzgerald and Stephanie Cesar tell Western Mass News one of their keys to success has been commitment.
“We are all very committed to winning at the end of the season. Our league, states, everything,” said Fitzgerald.
“We can pass around. There are a lot of girls that are very good. They play soccer outside (of school). So having that on the team is very effective as we are able to make connections and passes,” said Cesar.
Their teammate, Bella Meadows, adds the team’s unity is also a factor.
“We’re like a family here. We don’t hang our heads, and when we do hang our heads, we pick them back up and we just continue. That’s how we haven’t had any downfall yet,” said Meadows.
To give you an idea of just how successful this team has been, the Cardinals have had 23 total shutout victories dating back to last year. Bella Meadows has scored 145 career goals.
However, they kick those stats to the side as the players say “It’s not about the numbers.
“It’s about winning as a team. just because, say, I have a lot of points or someone else has a lot of points, we want to end the was a team. they’ve helped me get where I am today,” said Meadows.
With strong leadership and big games approaching, all of the players aim to get better and have fun regardless of the result.
However, their ultimate goal, get the win.
“If we have a slow game, it’s important to keep the energy up as captains, we do that. we encourage our teammates to just keep playing their best game instead of falling to the other team,” said Cesar.
“I know that moving forward for the next month or month and a half, we just have to dig deep. and hopefully, we get the same results,” said Dillard.
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