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Seniors lead on the pitch

Soccer team demolishes competition
The Feather
Senior Grace LaCroix pushes the ball toward the goal as she leads her team along with the other seniors.

This year’s girls soccer team is led by a group of seven dynamic seniors. The success of the team is no coincidence because they have been together, working hard for years. That group of seniors consists of Grace Lacroix, Tatum Auwae, Serenity Cortez, Jenna Obwald, Miracle Neal, Kegan Brunnemann, and Emma Connolly, who lead the charge this season. The team kicked off their pre-season strong, achieving a 15-4-1 record going head to head with some of the Valley’s top schools, such as Clovis West and Clovis East. The Eagles held their ground against these teams proving to be a determined force. 

Last year’s team had a successful season, dominating and winning league championships, and making it to the CIF Central Valley D4 Semi-finals. This year’s seniors are extremely unique, as they have made it to the valley championship 2 times, and won the 2022 valley championship in an intense match against Mammoth.

Head coach Matthew Markarian leads the girls for his seventh consecutive year. Markarian discusses the role some of the senior girls have stepped up to fill.

“Our Team is blessed with some great leaders. Our seniors have been a big part of this program and know what we expect as coaches,” Markarian said. “Emma Connolly, Grace Lacroix, Miracle Neal, and Kegan Brunnemann are four of our seniors who set the tone for us. They do a great job being coaches on the field.”

Markarian also talks about what makes this group of girls special.

“It has been a joy and challenge to coach this group of seniors, they challenge us as coaches to be our very best,” Markarian said. They have won at a very high level, they are 71-12-3 over the course of their career and have a chance to win their second valley championship which would be a great finish to their very successful career.”

The Lady Eagles continue to hold strong leadership in their league with a 7-0 record with their most recent victory against the Liberty Hawks ending with a 6-0 scoreboard.

Kegan Brunnemann, ’24, takes the ball down the field. She has been instrumental in leading this year’s team. (Giada Gilmore-Young)

Brunnemann has faced numerous injuries and obstacles which she has overcome throughout her soccer career. She plays for a club in the Bay Area in addition to school soccer. Brunnemann plans to continue playing soccer in college as well, at The Masters University.

One piece of advice that Brunnemann would give for younger players looking to grow would be to have a good mentality.

“Learn how to let the mistakes go because they don’t define you.”

Senior Jenna Obwald, who has been a part of the girls soccer program since middle school, shares a few of her personal and team goals for this season. 

“A personal goal would be to grow as a player and grow as a teammate and be able to support my team,” said Obwald. “As a team, we are learning how to work together and not just be good individual players so we are able to perform well together on the day of the game.”

Lacroix, who has also been a key asset to the team this year, shares her goal for the team this season. She doesn’t only want to win games but also bond with her teammates.

“To grow closer together and to have the mentality that we are all doing it for the glory of God and not for our personal glory,” Lacroix said.

Neal, Cortez, Auwae, Lacroix, and Obwald – the original four on the junior high team – are back this season aiming to end their soccer career as champs.

Come support the Eagles home soccer Senior night as well as the first round of Playoffs on Feb. 13 vs. Templeton at 5:15 p.m.

To read more from the Feather visit PROMO: Girls Soccer team readies for season kickoff or Boys tennis plans to repeat CIF title.

For more on girl’s soccer visit Girls soccer ’22-23 season wrap-up.

For more on Fresno Christian Sports view the athletics page.

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About the Contributors
Tyler Hamm
Tyler Hamm, Journalist
Tyler Hamm is a junior at Fresno Christian who is an all-around athlete who is always looking for an adventure. He enjoys competing in volleyball tournaments, working out, and cooking up some BBQ. Tyler looks forward to developing his writing and photography skills.
Giada Gilmore-Young
Giada Gilmore-Young, Photojournalist
Giada Gilmore Young sprints through life with a camera in her hand. She is a freshman at Fresno Christian Schools and a first-year photojournalist on the Feather. Gilmore Young owns her own business called Interwoven, which sells creative and upcycled goods. She plays piano for the worship team, runs Track & field and Cross Country, and serves as a student leader.
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