By Bobby Mathews, Sports Editor
IRONDALE — The result wasn’t the win the Shades Valley girls soccer team wanted, but even a 1-1 tie with Carver on Thursday shows the growth of the Mounties’ soccer program.
After enduring a tough 2021 campaign, the Mounties came into the 2022 season playing strong soccer and are now 6-3-2 on the season.
“This year, we’ve worked really hard to get where we’re at,” senior co-captain Adela Jaimes said prior to the Carver game. “We’ve hustled at practice every day, showed out and every single person on this team has skillfully, tactically and mentally improved since we started. So for the rest of the year I’m hoping that we continue to improve and get better.”
Jaimes anchors an overall young defense in the center of the field. Although she’s a senior, this is only her second year playing prep soccer.
“We’ve really worked hard to get to where we are right now,” co-captain Denis Velazquez said. “Last year we had a really rough season. We were starting right after Covid, had new players — I was a new player, had never really set foot on the pitch — and coach really helped us.”
There’s also the aspect where the Mounties have gelled and become close, like every good team.
“The family that we made here really helped us get better,” Velazquez. “With hard work and motivation and support from the teammates, it was possible for me to learn how to play soccer and enjoy it.”