Senior night is always an emotional game for players, coaches and parents. It’s the final time a senior will get to play on their home field and in front of the hometown fans.
The Bret Hart High School girls’ soccer team was unable to give Aryana Maddux, Ellie Shaw, Leslie Quashnick and Destiny Espejel a victory in their final soccer game. The Bullfrogs were shutout 3-0 by the Summerville Bears Tuesday evening at Dorroh Field in Angels Camp.
Even though she was disappointed that her four seniors didn’t get to experience a victory on senior night, Bret Harte head coach Jessica Bowman had trouble holding back her tears after the game while talking about Maddux, Shaw, Quashnick and Espejel.
“This group means so much to me and it’s so inspiring to talk with them about their hopes, their dreams and their future and they just have the world ahead of them,” Bowman said. “It’s with a great deal of pride that I’ve got to know them and mentor them over the last several years. To see what they can do and to how they’ll contribute to the world in the future is really exciting and I’m super proud of them.”
Summerville scored all three of its goals in the first half. The first came with 25:27 on the clock, followed by another at 19:53 and the third at 16:11. In the final 40 minutes, Bret Harte held the Bears scoreless.
As has been the case much of the year, the Bullfrogs had a strong half, but were unable to string that into a whole game. Bowman feels that the fitness level of her team still isn’t at where it should be to be competitive for an entire 80 minutes of soccer.
“We just did not come into the season in shape and that’s because we weren’t anticipating that we’d even have a season,” Bowman said. “Hopefully, that won’t be the case next year and we can be prepared and come into the year in decent shape and work on our tactical skills and our moves, rather than trying to handle fitness. We’ve progressed hugely over the last six weeks as a team with our communication and skill, but our fitness isn’t where it should be and at the end of the day, that’ll kill you in an 80-minute soccer game.”
Bret Harte (0-7-1 Mother Lode League) will get one final shot at putting a game in the win column. The Bullfrogs wrap up their nine-game season at 5:45 p.m., Thursday against Amador in Sutter Creek.
Bowman hopes that her team plays with the same intensity and proficiency they did against Summerville, only with a different result on the scoreboard.
“I’m really proud of the way the girls played today,” Bowman said. “Even though the score doesn’t reflect it, we played our best game of the season today. The score is irrelevant to me as far as my pride level for the girls. We did something totally unconventional for senior night by putting our three uninjured seniors up at striker. It weakened our defense significantly, but it was fun and it was different and unique. I’m glad that we gave them that opportunity.”