Girls varsity soccer looks to build off of last year’s semi-final run with another dominant season

Girls varsity soccer looks to build off of last years semi-final run with another dominant season

After having another very successful season, girls varsity soccer, also known as RGSO, is ready to fight its way back to the state semifinals in hopes of punching a ticket to the state final game.

Spring has finally arrived, and with that, FHC will be back on the pitch to start another hopefully dominant year. Last season, the girls had a very strong senior class that helped pave the team a path to the state semifinals. The run ended with the Rangers falling in the semifinal round to the eventual state champion, Hartland.

This season, the senior class will have to fill in the void left from the graduating class of 2021. This team will be headlined by a very powerful group of seniors such as Claudia Folkert, Maggie Hier, Mattie Sexton, Ava Wilberding, Olivia Bowling, Theryn Hallock, Addi Tack, Lauren Koczenasz, Katie Hurbanis, Ruthie VanSkiver, and many more. The seniors are pumped for the start of a new season, and they feel very eager to fit into their veteran roles.

“We have a very versatile group of senior girls this year that can do so much on the field,” Mattie Sexton said. “A lot of us girls have played at some of the top levels of soccer in the country, and it’s going to be a great chance for all of us to come together and show our skills as one. We are going to add a lot of speed up top, along with solid defense in the back. This class is going to be the next to make a solid run for that state championship title.”

Head coach Ashley Ludtke is excited to step up to the helm as leader of this squad as she returns to the helm of RGSO. She will get a chance to work with a team that has a tremendous amount of depth, especially at the senior level.

“Our returners bring us back to the strong core of the values we have as a program,” coach Ludtke said. “Their previous experience immediately sets an example to this team, which helped bring us to a high level of success on and off the field. The girls had excellent leadership last season, and they are prepared to carry on that positivity to this season and keep our focus of a team-first mentality.”

The girls open the season up with two non-conference away games with both Gull Lake on Wednesday and Caledonia on Friday. Then, the girls move on to spring break but come back to a marquee matchup against Byron Center. This is a highly anticipated game for the girls, along with another Ok White rival in Forest Hills Northern, who the girls play a week later.

“This season, I am definitely most excited to play Byron Center and attempt to get some revenge from last season,” Katie Hurbanis said. “I am excited to play Northern as well. FHN is a huge rivalry, and I think it will be exciting to show them who we are and what we can do.”

Along with those four games, the girls will face Grand Haven, Greenville, Lowell, Grand Rapids Christian, Unity Christian, East Grand Rapids, Northview for senior night, Portage Central, Zeeland East, and finally West Ottawa. This will be a very long season with a mix of inner-conference games spread throughout the year that will help give the girls a good test.

“The goal for the inner conference play this season is simply just winning the conference,” Hurbanis announced, “I feel that we are perfectly capable of doing this, and with a lot of hard work, I think we can get the job done.”

The girls also had a chance to scrimmage some of the better programs from the west side of the mitten over this past weekend, and Coach Ludtke knew this was going to be a much-needed learning experience for the team to get to know each other playing styles, before entering the regular season.

“From these opening scrimmages this past weekend, our team can learn a lot about our potential,” Coach Ludtke mentioned, “We improved greatly from the first scrimmage to the second, in the areas we focused on going into the second scrimmage and that is what you have to do, work to get better every day. We have a long way to go, but a great starting point.”

With that, the girls will be opening up the season on Wednesday with a road trip out to Gull Lake to face off against the hosting G.L. Blue Devils.