Wakefield women’s soccer: A young but talented team

This year’s team powers through the 2023 season despite the seemingly young roster.


Staff Photo by Maxx Rubino

Wakefield Women’s Soccer team dinner before playing against Wake Forest. They currently have a .54-win percentage with a streak of three won games in a row.

Gaby Sciaudone and Danielle Kirschner, Sports Editor and Staff Writer

After losing ten seniors last year, the 2022-2023 women’s varsity soccer team, led by Coach Tommy Retzlaf, has been presented with a roster consisting primarily of underclassmen. The juniors and seniors are using this opportunity to teach and support the underclassmen throughout the season. With a current 6-5-1 record, the team proves that the new dynamic may not be as much of a setback as they originally thought. Even with a primarily younger roster, the varsity team has been holding its own. Fans hoping to catch them in action can watch their next home game tonight versus Millbrook.

Luna Garcia, a sophomore on the team, is a forward striker. As an underclassman, she often feels intimidated by the competition, but she doesn’t let her fear limit her play.

“Obviously, it does get harder being an underclassman going up against upperclassmen,” Garcia said. “Going up against girls who are bigger, stronger and older than you is definitely [challenging].”

However, the senior captains, as well as other upperclassmen, make it their mission to support the sophomores and freshmen who may be struggling with the pressure. Charlotte Sykes, a co-captain, plays right outside back on the women’s soccer team. As captain, Sykes hopes to set a good example for the younger girls on the team. 

“The captains are definitely leaders and role models for all of the younger members on the team,” Sykes said. “They [also] really help with communication and teamwork.”

The captains are definitely leaders and role models for all of the younger members on the team.

— Sykes

Morgan Hlavanka, the other co-captain, can relate to this. She has been on the soccer team at Wakefield all four years of high school and has seen just how important the relationship between captains and players is in maintaining an uplifting environment for the team. 

“[As captains] we have to set an example by not only being direct but at the same time being encouraging, that way they don’t get discouraged because a lot of them have never played on a varsity level before,” Hlavenka said.

Victoria Luzniak is a junior on the team who plays center mid-field and played on the junior varsity team during her underclassmen years. Luzniak has noticed many differences between the two levels, such as the skill level necessary to play. 

“Varsity is much more intense than junior varsity; on varsity you are surrounded by high-level players,” Luzniak said. “The competition makes you better which I have learned makes you a better player.”

Although the season has just begun, the energy the team has had this season is special. Without the positive reinforcement and encouragement on the team, Wakefield’s soccer team would not be as extraordinary as it is. 

“[The upperclassmen] always tell you to keep your head up,” Garcia said. “When you make a mistake, you’ll feel like it’s your fault, but they’re there to tell you it’s not because it’s happened to all of us.”