Solana Beach Soccer Club’s Girls U16 team undefeated at season mid-point

The Solana Beach Soccer Club’s Girls U16 team has reached mid-point of the season with an undefeated (5-0-1) record, and is in second place in the prestigious and difficult Presidio League. The team is led by forward/midfielders Georgie Lawson and Mariel Cathcart, and has the stingiest defense in the league—allowing only 6 goals all season.

It is challenging to field a recreational soccer team after the players reach high school age. Players tend to focus on high school sports, or find other interests and drop recreational athletics altogether. But, 18 Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe girls from six different high schools (Canyon Crest Academy, Cathedral Catholic, La Jolla Country Day, San Dieguito Academy, Santa Fe Christian and Torrey Pines) have chosen to lace on their booties and kick the ball around each weekend with their ‘mates. Some of the girls have played rec. soccer in SBSC for a decade, while others have played for competitive teams before returning to SBSC. Many of the girls have been teammates for years, and often have a better idea of where they want to play than their coaches.

“I set the line-up very carefully,” says Head Coach and SBSC Board Member Jeff Lyle, “but, then I look up to see that two of the players have changed sides. ‘What’s going on girls?’ I’ll ask. And, they’ll tell me, ‘Chloe is better on the left side,’ or ‘Ary prefers right defender.’ Sometimes we have to be more directive, but, so far, it’s working.”

Assistant coach Tim Pickwell says the girls are goofy, until challenged. “We had a poor pre-game warm-up, one game, and looked like we were asleep at the opening kick-off. The other team scored in less than a minute. But, then the girls got fired up and took it to them. They love the competition.”