Courtesy Photo/Isla Christie
Freshman Houlihan plays during a game versus Spalding.
The Winnacunnet Girls Varsity Soccer Team welcomed four new freshman players this year, Julianne Banks (goalkeeper), Molly Houlihan (center back), Maeve Ouellette (outside back) and Sophia Guimaraes (midfielder). All of them started playing around the ages of four and five.
“My brothers played and so, my parents kind of made me play,” Banks said. “I played for Seacoast United. We went to Florida to play tournaments and it was pretty competitive.”
Guimaraes had a similar experience.
“My Dad got me into it because he played growing up,” Guimaraes said. “I started playing for Seacoast United and then later switched over to the North Shore New England Futbol Club.”
All four girls said they are very excited to be a part of the team and hope to make it to the playoffs.
“I was hoping to make varsity,” Houlihan said. “I was preparing myself for either. All the upperclassmen have been really inclusive and kind. We are all really close.”
Banks started the year with a hand injury and joined the junior varsity team until her hand was fully healed.
“A positive of the sport is getting to know the team and your teammates,” Banks said. “Having that communication between the teammates and cooperation with them. The con is getting hurt.”
Tryouts were successful for the four girls but it definitely put them to work.
“It was definitely a lot of running,” Guimaraes said. “But O’Brien focused more on skills during the tryout.”
They also shared some tips on how to better the chance of joining the team and being successful.
“Go to all the summer scrimmages and such,” Ouellette said. “It really helps for O’Brien to be able to see you play and seeing that you are involved and committed.”
Each having different roles on the team, they shared their personal goals for the year.
“As a defender,” Houlihan said. “I try to think about playing calm and smart because you are the last line before the keep and if you make a mistake, it could be a goal. I want to get better at tackling against strikers coming up.”
Banks also shared her goals.
Guimaraes also shared her goals.
“I want to boost my confidence,” Guimaraes said. “I am coming from a defense background and I’ve moved up to attacking so, it’s a big change for me. In the future, I hope to play D1 Soccer in college on a full ride.”
This is not the only sport the girls are involved in. Banks said she plays basketball and track, Houlihan said she plays lacrosse and basketball, and Ouellette said she plays lacrosse and track.
“I have a study block at the end of the day so that I can get some work done,” Banks said. “Also, if you take the bus, and you have nothing to do, just prioritize doing your work during that ride.”
Hoping for a successful year for the Girls Varsity Soccer Team and congratulations to the four freshman who made the team.