Girls varsity soccer falls to Bartram in regional final


Nicole Sheltry

KICKING QUEEN: Junior Kyleigh Thelen clears the ball against an opposing player in a home game. Thelen is a center back on the girls varsity team.

This story is an update to one originally published in the fourth edition of The Lion’s Tale (February 7, 2020).

On Feb. 18, 2020, in the 2020 Girls Soccer State Tournament, the varsity girls team lost to Bartram Trail, with a score of 1-2 in the regional final match. This knocked them out of contention for the championship.

The team continues to process the loss, but they said they want to look forward, moving their focus to next year, hoping to make it back to where they lost, and to make it even further. Their one goal this season was to make it to states, finishing the season better than their original target.

Scott Waisanen, a science teacher at Oviedo High School and coach of the soccer team, said he was disappointed about the loss, but added he is still proud of the girls, and hopes to continue to inspire them. 

With this group we knew we could make a deep run in the playoffs if they [worked] together as a group,” Waisanen said. “They accomplished quite a bit in advancing to the regional finals.”

Although the loss to Bartram hurt, Waisanen said he believes they can make it back next year, and win the championship.

 “It is always difficult to get to the playoffs and win games,” Waisanen said. “We are in a tough district, with some quality teams.”

The girls remain strong, moving on from the loss, and setting their goals and expectations for next year. This doesn’t mean they’ll forget about it, but Waisanen said they want to look ahead, knowing they can’t change anything from the past.

 “Nothing can hurt this team’s morale,” he added.  “Although we are disappointed with the loss, the morale among the girls is strong and they love playing with and for each other.”


This rest of this story was originally published in the fourth edition of The Lion’s Tale (February 7, 2020).

With passion, drive and a couple of star shots, girls varsity soccer has kicked their way into a final season win. They have blown away the competition this season, advancing on Feb. 6 to cinch the district title in a 2-0 win over Timber Creek.

Ryleigh Holcomb scored one of the winning goals off of an assist by Liz LeBlanc, who scored the other goal with an assist from Raisa Lugo.

Hannah Gretkowski, a freshman attacking midfielder, said the whole season has been amazing because she’s never experienced this before.

“It feels great because…it’s my first time being on the team,” Gretkowski said. “It’s really cool to go on to regionals.”

On Feb. 5, the team played Winter Park in the semi-finals and pulled out 6-2 victory, solidifying them into the No. 2 spot in the district. Junior Raisa Lugo scored two goals and senior Kyleigh Thelen added one.

When asked about the team’s performance this season, soccer coach and chemistry teacher Scott Waisanen said, “…. they’ve had a couple [of] good tests and they are really successful. There are a few things to work on, but as a whole, I’d say they’re playing well.”

As the season continued, the team stayed motivated and said they’re hoping to continue to improve. For Waisanen, there’s always something the team can work on for upcoming matches.

“[We] haven’t scored on some of the tie games and some goals when we needed to,” Waisanen said. “Finish[ing] an important game would be one of the things we want to work on.’’

Despite all their success, the season hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. There have been a couple of big injuries for some of the players, including Peyton Massie with an ACL injury and Kaitlyn Armour with an ACL tear. The loss of key players hasn’t been easy, and the team has had to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as a whole in order to continue winning their games.

“[Our] greatest weakness is not being able to score against tough teams… but we are slowly getting better,” said player Emily Fil.

Despite their challenges, the players said that the fact that they’ve continued to play well shows that they are a well-rounded team. In fact, despite the loss of some key players, they beat University High School in the quarter-finals on Jan. 30, 2020 and beat them with a dominating score of 11-0.

Now, they’re turning their sights toward the state championships, a goal that is almost within their grasp. Gretkowski said she thinks their chances are good.

“The last few games, we’ve been gelling together. We’ve been working together and talking more than at the beginning of the season,” Gretkowski said. “[If we won the state championship], I can’t even describe it. It’d be beyond amazing.”