Wolverines win first region soccer title in school history
Nov 13, 2018 01:57PM
● By Jana Klopsch
Senior Britton Pike secured three shutouts this season. (Kolbie James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Hunter girls soccer accomplished many of their team and individual goals this season.
Hunter High School opened in 1990. Until now, the girls soccer team had never won a region title. This fall they did and advanced to the state playoffs.
“It is the first time in our school history, something we had been trying to accomplish since last year when we came so close,” Wolverines girls head coach Brett Solberg said. “We were one shot away last season and it gave us the motivation to work at it and it paid off.”
In 2017, they finished the season with one loss and a tie to Hillcrest. This landed them in second place. Hunter’s boys teams have won a handful of region titles but the girls had never reached that milestone. Solberg recognized the desire his team had to succeed.
“We have had a lot of girls that are playing soccer year round. Before we have had girls that like soccer, but were not as committed to it. They are playing competitively. Playing year round bridges that gap from where we were,” Solberg said.
Defining the team’s best attributes is a difficult task for Solberg.
“We scored 41 goals in our region games and only allowed five. Our defense was solid and we had some great strikers and scorers,” Solberg said.
Senior Britton Pike began the season in net as the goalie, but an injury forced her to miss several games during the season. Freshman Alondra Barba stepped in and netted two shutouts.
The Wolverines offense counted 11 players that scored at least one varsity goal this season. While three had 10 or more. Senior Whitney Blanchard scored 12 goals. Sophomores Lucky Phonharath and Olivia Harding contributed 12 and 11 goals respectively.
“I think that is a record for us with three girls scoring double figures in goals in one season. Whitney is very fast and has lots of endurance. She scores by pressuring or by using her speed. Liv is also fast but she has some clever distribution. She puts the ball in places to get assists. Lucky is a midfielder and is the engine of our offense. She had several goals from probably 25-30 yards out,” Solberg said.
As the No. 2 seed from Region 2, Hunter hosted Davis in the first round of the state tournament. The end of the first half found the Wolverines trailing only 1-0 but the Darts scored three more to close out the season.
“I felt like we gave it our all. They made a few changes and could not keep up with them, but I cannot feel disappointed. We gave it everything we had. We had a goal to make it past the first round of the playoffs and didn't quite make that. We also wanted to be a team united. I feel like we accomplished that with several team dinners and an overnight trip at the beginning of the season,” Solberg said.
Solberg just finished his seventh season as Hunter’s soccer coach. He leads both the boys and girls programs at the school.