Girls’ soccer claims UKC title and looks forward to postseason

The DHS Varsity girls’ soccer team celebrates winning the UKC title on May 7, 2019.

Quinlan Robke

The DHS Varsity girls’ soccer team celebrates winning the UKC title on May 7, 2019.

Lauren Stanton, Staff Reporter

The De Soto High School girls’ soccer team completed its last game of conference play with an 11-1 victory over Lansing on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Upon winning last week’s game, the team clinched the United Kansas Conference title.

“We were really happy to know that we were able to come out and play, and do our job and put numbers on the board,” said senior co-captain and midfielder Morgan Laplante.

The team went 10-0 in conference play and 15-1-1 overall.

The team has improved its skills and has been focusing on little details throughout the season.

“I feel that our organization on the field has gotten a lot better. This team has a lot of technical ability and has played together for such a long time,” Laplante said. “We learned more than previously and it’s just been finding the little things and fine-tuning them. That is what has made our team a lot better.”

The team’s defense and overall playing tactics have also improved.

According to junior center midfielder Maddy Mascareno, the team has done “a really good job of going over defensive formation,” and focusing on attacking and finishing.

Although the team had a 15-game unbeaten streak during the regular season, the players still felt like they could do better.

“They know what a good team looks like and if they aren’t playing well, they aren’t happy. Our program is at a point where the expectations are high and the girls don’t settle for anything less,” head coach Jesse Smith said.

One thing that the team enjoys about this season is the welcoming environment.

“[My favorite parts are] the team environment we have, how fun it is and how well everyone gets along with each other. We know when to have fun and when to be serious and work hard,” Mascareno said.

Smith believes that it is mainly the girls who have created this special environment.

“We work hard as coaches to create an environment that breeds that camaraderie, but ultimately it’s up to the players to come together,” Smith commented.

In addition to working well with each other, the team has a singular mind when it comes to the goals they have in mind for the postseason. The team wants to make it as far as they can in postseason play.

“Once we make it to the final four, anything is possible,” Smith said.

Making it to State is also a top goal for many players.

“If we can play how we can play, with quick ball movement and finishing our chances, then we have a such a strong team technically and tactically that making it to State would be great, and I think that’s a real possibility,” Laplante said.

DHS defeated Lansing 10-0 in the opening game of Regionals May 14 and will play Topeka-Seaman in Regional finals on May 16 at 6 pm.