Whittier Christian High girls soccer team defeats Rim
By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY
Coming off of the heels of last Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Victorville High School’s girls soccer team, last Friday’s loss to Whittier Christian High School by the Rim High girls soccer team must have been a major disappointment for a team that has racked up a 9-6-4 record, so far this school year.
Early in the first half of last Wednesday’s first round of a five-game tournament to determine which team will reign supreme in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, Rim scored its first goal, which was kicked in by sophomore Ashley Gonzalez. The crowd of spectators as well as fellow teammates loudly cheered every time sophomore Gracie Lutcavish, junior Alexa Jimenez and sophomore Ashley Gonzalez intercepted or advanced the ball ever closer to the goal.
Following a 15-minute half-time, Rim’s head coach Steve Wallace gathered the 20-member team into a circle, seated on the grass, and gave them a pep talk on the do’s and don’ts of playing soccer, reminding them to “pay attention and communicate.”
Around 4 p.m. in the second half of the competition, which kicked off at 3 p.m. on Rim High’s athletic field, Victorville scored its first goal, much to the disappointment of nearly 100 Rim family members and other spectators seated in the bleachers.
With teammates and an excited crowd of spectators yelling, “Let’s go, Gracie,” “Let’s go, Alexa” and “Let’s go, Vanna,” around 5 p.m. in the second half, Rim sophomore Gracie Lutcavish scored Rim’s second and final goal, thus beating the Victorville team by a score of 2-1.
Talking about Rim’s win, Wallace told The Alpine Mountaineer, “They worked hard and they were all great players.” On her way out, Isabella Hust was asked how she learned to play soccer, to which she replied briefly, “My dad taught me.” Ashley Gonzalez was asked how she learned to be such an excellent soccer player. “I’ve been playing for 12 years. My dad taught me how to play and I started when I was 3 years old,” she said, adding that Coach Wallace had helped improve her playing a great deal.
The soccer field was flush with jubilant screams of joy and high-fives as teammates hugged one another before exiting the school grounds with their parents, grandparents and boyfriends who had witnessed their victory.
Such was not the case following game two last Friday.
In game two, also at Rim High School, on Friday, Feb. 10, Whittier Christian High School’s girls soccer team proved that they are a force to be reckoned with by demonstrating their prowess in keeping the ball on their side of the field. Early in the first half, loud cheers erupted when a Rim teammate kicked the ball into the goal zone. However, the cheers subsided when a referee reversed the goal due to a technicality. From that point on, the game went downhill for the mighty Rim Scots as Whittier Christian scored two goals, handing Rim a decisive 2-0 defeat.
When asked how the Whittier Christian High School team became so proficient at playing soccer, Coach Christy Gravit jubilantly told The Alpine Mountaineer, “The Lord is always on our side every day of the week and twice on Sunday. We scored early in the game when our defense kept the other team away from the goal and our attacker, Number 20, captured the first of two goals.”
At the end of the game, there was much sobbing and hugging among the defeated Rim teammates. Wallace and his assistant, Louis Hewitt, told them not to give up.
Game three, the semifinals, said Wallace, is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 14. After that, there will be the Masters and CIF Championship rounds for teams that qualify.
A Rim team member advances the ball closer to the goal. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)
The Rim Scots about to score their first goal in game one.
Head coach Steve Wallace gives the team a pep talk during half-time.
Rim High girls soccer team assembles with coaches Wallace and Hewitt following their victory in game one.
Isabella Hurst poses for a brief interview following Rim’s victory over Victorville.
Rim teammate Ashley Gonzales scored the first goal in game one.
The team from Whittier Christian High School following their victory in game two.