The successful season for the Yosemite High varsity girls soccer team (14-4-1, 7-2-1 North Sequoia League - second place) ended in the first round of the CIF Central Section D-III playoffs.
After finishing league play in second place behind Liberty (18-4-2, 10-0 NSL), Yosemite received the No. 5 seed in the playoffs, and faced No. 4 seed Independence (14-8-2, 8-2 South Yosemite League) Feb. 9 in Bakersfield, who beat the Badgers 3-0.
Coach Venassa Jasper credited her team for one of the best seasons for the Badgers in recent years.
“This year's season has been by far the best one for the lady Badgers in many years,” Jasper said. “As a team the ladies grew closer together and showed what a team is about. They pushed and challenged each other while still enjoying the game, and having fun.”
The team consisted of eight seniors that dedicated themselves to the team all four years of high school.
“These seniors have worked every season to build this team into the strong, cohesive, and highly competitive team that it is today, and have helped create the basis for more successful seasons to come,” Jasper said. “The loss of these seniors will be tough, but we are confident that the girls they are leaving behind are more than capable of continuing to win games and grow as a team. The seniors this year were a fantastic group of young women. They brought so much to the team ... leadership, friendship, and silliness too. I’m going to miss all of them. I know the team will too.”
Up and coming seniors for next year are midfielder Riley Ashton, midfielder Jennifer Springer, defensive player Maddy Noonkester, and defensive player Caden Macoon.
Team captain Brooke Veater says, “I have more than enough faith in these ladies and I know that they will take on their roles as seniors and lead the team just as we did,” said team captain Brooke Veater.
Defensive player and senior Gianna Defelice called the season “memorable.”
“This has been the best and most memorable season of soccer in all my four years at Yosemite, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the memories and friendships that have been created from it,” Defelice said. “Yosemite soccer has made an significant impact on my high school career. I am thankful for my two wonderful coaches, and kind and supportive team.”
“All of these ladies have grown as people and players through this team,” Jasper said. “No matter win or lose, rain or shine, they have stayed positive and motivated, and continued to flourish together.”
Sophomore Peyton Garner scored 33 goals on the season, two short of the school single season scoring record. Ashton had 13 goals on the season, sophomore Savannah Bohna added seven, and sophomore Kara Eckstein recorded six.
With the three leading scorers returning next year, the Badgers should have another strong season.
The Badgers will celebrate the season with awards, and a video presentation at the team end-of-season banquet at 6 p.m., March 7, in the high school theater.