Girls soccer clinch back-to-back league crowns
Last updated 10/24/2023 at 10:27am
The Lady Outlaw soccer squad continued their dominance over league opponents this past week. They logged an 8-0 win at La Pine on Tuesday, October 17, and with the win clinched the league title. Two days later they beat Central Linn at home in a final score of 5-1.
Prior to the start of Thursday’s contest against Central Linn, the Lady Outlaws honored their six seniors: Captains Izzy Schiller and Marley Holden, Lilly Sundstrom, Juhree Kizziar, Maggie Lutz, and Maddie Taylor. Coach Brian Holden told The Nugget it was probably one of the more emotional senior nights he’s been involved in.
“The emotions were probably due to how close and tight these girls are,” said Holden. “They’ve watched each other grow up and genuinely love each other and will stay close even off the soccer pitch.”
Holden made special note of each of his senior players.
Schiller (center back) is not only a captain, but is a leader by example. Holden stated that Schiller supports the team’s family motto, “Stay close, no drama.” She has a high soccer IQ and has great communication throughout the field. She plays physical, and is strong and well-balanced with her tackles.
Holden (center midfield) is another player with a high soccer IQ. Coach Holden stated Marley has great vision of the field and with that distributes the ball very well. She’s exceptional at outside shooting with an amazing first-touch, and is the “engine of the team.”
Sundstrom (wing back) is one of the Outlaws’ most versatile players. She was moved from offense to defense this year because she is the fastest girl on the team and nobody can beat her. Holden stated she’s willing to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful, including playing different positions on the field.
Kizziar (center midfield) is a confident player who plays with heart. She was noted for her high work ethic and willingness to do whatever is best for the team, which means she also plays in different positions.
Lutz (holding midfield) has been healthy and strong this year. Holden stated she’s been the missing link the team hasn’t had in the past few years because of her injuries. She brings a calm presence to the center of the field and Holden stated he loves her competitive nature.
Maddie Taylor rounds out the senior players (forward). Taylor formerly played defense but was asked to move to forward this season because of her strength and speed. Holden stated she’s an intelligent player and adapted quickly to the change. Holden also mentioned that players consider her a mother role model for the team, as they look up to her because of her loving nature.
After the seniors were honored the contest got underway. Sisters realized how important the game was in regard to seeding for the playoffs and battled hard, played their game, and earned the win.
Seniors Holden, Sundstrom, and Schiller commented on winning league.
Holden said, “Having won back-to-back titles isn’t about bragging rights for us, but about being able to show everyone that it wasn’t luck last year. It’s a consistent push to make each year better than the last.”
Schiller said, “Winning back-to-back league titles feels incredible! We have set a high bar for ourselves in terms of work rate and quality of play, and winning league is a great representation of how well everyone has kept up with it. As we move forward into playoffs, we set ourselves up well in terms of getting to play the first couple of rounds on our home field. I’m excited to continue increasing our standard and hopefully go far!”
Sundstrom said, “It feels great to have won league! We’ve been working super-hard. We work hard for each other and have chemistry like no other team I’ve ever been a part of.”
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Outlaws racked up eight goals against the Hawks; two each from Ella Eby and Juhree Kizziar and a goal from Katie Ryan, Marley Holden, Izzy Schiller, and Devon Stevens.
As usual the Lady Outlaws showed great sportsmanship against the Lady Hawks on their senior night, and the win wasn’t so much about the goals as about their character as a team. Prior to the contest the Outlaws shopped and bought gifts for La Pine’s two senior girls. After the Hawks honored their seniors, the Outlaws’ two captains, Holden and Schiller, congratulated the girls and gave them special gift bags. The gesture was once again a demonstration of how the girls soccer squad shows sportsmanship and respect for their league opponents.
Coach Brian Holden told The Nugget that after the game ended the LaPine coach approached him and congratulated him and the team on their success this year. He also noted that he’d shown his team the video clip he’d seen of the Lady Outlaws on Z21, and told Holden that he told his girls that’s the type of team his girls should aspire to be.
Holden said, “It wasn’t about how many goals we’d scored, or our wins, but primarily about how close-knit our team is and how we treat each other as family. There’s no yelling, complaining, or drama. Whether we win or lose, it’s a standard that is something to be proud of.”
The Lady Outlaws have a bye in the first round of state playoffs.