Central’s girls soccer team scrapped and clawed their way out of a hole last season and were still able to make a playoff appearance. That tough road is proving to be motivation for several of the returning Chargers as the summer club team season gets under way.
After having to fight back after forfeiting district games and transitioning to a new head coach, Central learned what it takes to stay focused and achieve the goal of a return to the postseason. Central nabbed the district’s fourth place and final playoff spot.
“It starts in the summer,” said senior-to-be Lexi Kramber. “We felt good about making it that far,” Kramber said of reaching the regional quarterfinals before losing to Keller. “That’s motivation for us and we want to win and end the year on a good note.”
Much of the preparation for making another trip to the playoffs starts with summer workouts, as Kramber said her time is being spent working on her fitness level, fundamentals and shooting.
Kramber is joined by fellow teammates Caitlin Davis and Hannah Allred in conducting summer workouts and playing for area select teams.
Davis, a rising junior and Allred, a soon-to-be sophomore, are playing with Odyssey and an Elite Club National League team, respectively, and they know the importance of returning to the start of the school’s varsity season already well-conditioned and ready to build on the program’s success.
“I spend about two hours to run and lift,” Davis said of her summer plan in addition to the time on the field with Odyssey. Davis has been playing with the club team since she was 10.
“Coach (Lauren) Arias told us about our workouts, but we haven’t gotten together but are doing things on our own,” she said. “We want to be ready on the first day,” Davis said.
Davis agreed the trials of last season has the returning team members excited to get back to campus and start a new run again.
“I think because we were able to make the playoffs again, we’re going to push hard and we’re excited to be able to make the playoffs again,” David said.
In addition to position skills and conditioning, Davis said leadership is another area she hopes to further develop for next season.
Allred, who admitted she didn’t expect to start as a freshman, is building on her varsity experience as she’s now in her third year with her select team, which was in Seattle last week for competition.
“It’s really a learning experience,” Allred said. “Here in Texas, we play a very direct style and California and the East Coast teams play more of a possession game. You have to learn how to adapt and learn to defend the different styles.”
Any additional experience will be a benefit for next year’s Chargers, as they graduated 11 seniors. There will be seven or eight returners, but many were underclassmen.
Arias will begin her first full year as head coach for Central after assuming the interim position in the middle of the season. She has been an assistant coach with Central soccer and is entering her 11th year with the program.