Women’s soccer players pursue citizenship and goals

Yusha Ahsan and Kendall Wilson

As the 2022 women’s soccer season plays out, many of the determined players work hard to improve their skills. This way, they will be able to keep the season going strong, with all the challenges and victories prevailing over them. 

Thomas Retzlaff is the head coach of the women’s soccer team, and this is his first year coaching the girls. 

“This season, we continue to show growth in our game awareness and understanding,” Retzlaff said. “They have grown in their commitment to meet the challenges in front of them.”  

The team’s after-school practices have not only developed their soccer skills, but also their team mindset. One of the team’s captains and senior at Wakefield High School (WHS), Ashley Macfarlane, elaborates on how the team is progressing through their practices. 

“We haven’t had a ton of practice because we play pretty much every day,” Macfarlane said. “But each practice we come in with the mindset that we are gonna get one percent better, so that’s how we are gonna work.”

The team, however, has also faced some challenges as they have moved through the season which they must overcome as one. Charlotte Sykes is a player for the women’s soccer team and a junior at WHS who conveyed the obstacles faced. 

“Some of the challenges our team has faced this year are many injuries – we have had to change up our positions and lineup many times after four injuries thus far,” Sykes said.. 

Despite these occasional setbacks, the team persevered and was proud of their personal achievements. Player Abby Blancett expressed that she found many improvements in her game through the help of the head coach. 

Together we learn, deal with adversity and compete together all while being good citizens.

— Retzlaff

“Personally, I’ve learned a lot from Coach Tommy in [terms] of how I see the game,” Blancett said. “I feel like I see a lot more patterns I didn’t see before because we would work on that as to what I have done in my previous games.”

Through practice and playing a myriad of games with each other on the field, the soccer players’ devotion to the sport increases. Sykes mentions why she specifically finds joy in her sport.

“My favorite thing about soccer is the people,” Sykes said. “I have met so many of my best friends from this sport, and being able to play and win with people you love makes the game so much more enjoyable.” 

Not only do the girls love playing on the soccer team, but the coach also cherishes his time training and preparing the team. 

“I really love this group – they have a tremendous personality and a fun-loving spirit about them,” Retzlaff said. “Together we learn, deal with adversity and compete together all while being good citizens.” 

All in all, the team believes this season to be one to remember. They are truly proud of the immense improvements they have made and the relationships they built throughout the year. They are content with how they are progressing through the rest of their season. 

“This team is so special because of how close we have all gotten over the years of playing together,” Sykes said. “Our closeness is what makes us want to play harder and win together.”