Cherokee soccer makes playoffs for the third time ever



Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Cherokees soccer at John Paul II.

Valeria De La Cruz

The varsity girls soccer team made the playoffs for the first time since 2012. It is the third time the Cherokees have made the playoffs, the other was 2011. Juniors Claire Bennett and Daniela Cano are excited, hopeful, and nervous for the playoffs and their final season next year. 

What’s been the key to the team’s success this year?

Bennett: The key to our success this year is truthfully just teamwork. In order for us to be successful, especially this year, everyone has to show up and be prepared for each game. 

Cano: The key to the teams success I think more than anything has been communication on the field.

Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. Cherokees soccer vs. Calallen. (Meinheit)

What was the toughest game you’ve had so far this season?

Bennett: The toughest game we’ve played this season was against Calallen. The reason it’s so hard is because the majority of their team plays together on a club team—a team that I play on as well. Honestly, they just don’t even need coaching because they already have a team that’s been together for years before high school. In addition to this, their forwards play pretty dangerously and unsafe.

Cano:The toughest game we had was the first game against Callalen.

How has it been different competing against 4A this year compared to 5A?

Bennett: 4A competition is pretty different. It’s easier and the traveling distance is less, which is nice especially on the late game nights. 

Cano: Dropping to 4A definitely made this season a bit easier to manage due to the teams being smaller as well.

Tell me about your favorite moment this season?

Bennett: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite moment specifically, but my favorites memories all together are when we’re just enjoying the game—when we’re all taking it seriously while also laughing and having a good time. I’m a firm believer in the ability to have a good laugh while still performing well. 

How has it been playing this season with COVID-19 and how is it different?

Bennett: The only big change in regards to COVID is the masks. Because soccer is an outdoor sport, it’s easy to follow the COVID guidelines without feeling as though we’re being barred from the usual soccer experience. 

Cano: It’s definitely been more restrictive with COVID 19. Playing this season felt different because many girls aren’t as active with the team due to being able to learn remotely.

How does it feel to be going to playoffs after so many years of not making it?

Bennett: I’m excited! I hope we do well, but, more than anything, I hope we enjoy it! If we perform to the best of our ability, I know we’ll do well. 

Cano: It feels quite bittersweet. Most of the girls I’m close with on the team are seniors. I’m glad we made the playoffs just kinda sad remembering that most of them are leaving after finishing the season.

Do you see the team advancing further?

Bennett: I truly have no idea. The turnout of each game depends on each and every player individually. If we all show up, we’ll likely advance. If some of our players don’t carry their weight, like in every team sport, we won’t. 

Cano: I do see the team advancing further if we want the wins more than the other team and give 100 percent effort.

Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. Cherokees soccer vs. Calallen. (Meinheit)

How are you feeling about next year’s season?

Bennett: I’m hopeful. Next year I’ll be a senior and I have no idea what’s to come, so I plan on making the most of it. 

Cano: I feel excited but nervous for next year’s season. It’ll be my last season in high school and a lot of girls are graduating on my team, so it’ll be a new team dynamic next year.