Mr. Joe Ciuni, Girls Soccer Head Coach, is confident that the team will be able to live up to the high expectations that were set last season. “We are every team’s super bowl…they will give us their best game. Everyone wants to beat the champs,” he said. Ciuni continuously reminds the girls that they have a target on their backs, and that they must continue to play with a chip on their shoulders.
This season, the Lady Lancers, as well as many other previous Division III schools, moved up to Division II as a result of larger student bodies and competitive balance.
Gilmour’s reigning Division III state champions began their difficult season playing three of the top teams in Ohio across all divisions: Archbishop Hoban High School, Summit Country Day School, and Walsh Jesuit High School. Within the last two years, all three of these schools have brought back a state title.
This year, the Lancers defeated Archbishop Hoban 4-2. Megan Miller (`18) scored a goal and Annie Greene (`19) had her first hat trick (three goals in a single game) of the season during this game. However, the team lost to Summit Country Day 3-0 and Walsh Jesuit 2-0.
Greene, a starting forward committed to Division I Northern Kentucky, believes that the Hoban game was a great team win, especially since they are a strong team and one of Gilmour’s rival schools. Greene claimed that without the help of her teammates, her goals would not have been possible. About her third goal of the game, Greene said, “I was excited for myself, but more excited for the team. The entire team got the hat trick, not just me.” She hopes that throughout the rest of this season, the team will come together again with positive attitudes across the field.
Miller, a four-year starting center defender and captain, believes that the Hoban game was a great way to start the season. Miller was especially excited about scoring since she often does not get the opportunity to score due to her defensive position. Even though the outcomes of the Summit Country Day and Walsh games were not what the Lancers wanted, Miller believes that the team worked well together and fought hard in both battles. Reflecting on her last season as a Lancer, Miller said, “It is really sad and upsetting, but it gives me, and I am sure the other seniors, extra motivation to work harder and give everything we’ve got because this is our last chance to make a difference.”
Despite the 1-2 start, Coach Ciuni is optimistic about the season. He believes that the girls gave 100% effort in each of these games and that the Lady Lancers are right on track for this season given that there were several injuries that impacted the outcomes of these losses. Ciuni said that the team should be filled with confidence from their performances. He said, “It shows that we are able to compete with some of the best teams in the state, and these games set us up well for the rest of the season and hopefully another playoff run.” Ciuni hopes that the team learned a lot from these games. He thinks it is always beneficial to learn from opponents.
When asked about her outlook for the rest of the season, Miller responded, “This year we have a lot of good freshmen as well as many returning players. We have a very talented team. We have to be able to click as a team and get along well. We will have lots of fun and success this season.”