by Jimmy Yates ’21
Girls’ varsity soccer started the season well with a comfortable 4-0 victory against Magruder followed by a 1-0 victory over Blake. However, tougher tests waited for a team with only four seniors and a new head coach, former Sherwood soccer standout Hope Gouterman. In a span of six days, the Warriors took on River Hill, which has won three consecutive 2A state titles, and Good Counsel, which regularly fields nationally ranked girls soccer teams with multiple collegiate recruits.
Putting up a fight against the 13-time state champions, Sherwood lost to River Hill 3-0 after giving up 2 goals in the second half. The next match proved even more difficult, as the Warriors fell to Good Counsel 7-0. “The scores did not reflect how well we played as a team,” said senior captain Eliza Averbach. “We all worked together and for each other, despite the losses. [River Hill and Good Counsel] were definitely two of the best teams we play this season, but it is important that we don’t underestimate the other teams. We need to focus and work hard in practice in order to get back to a winning record.”
Sherwood is at .500 right now with a 2-2 record. However, Sherwood’s schedule doesn’t get much easier, facing top tier Montgomery County teams like Wootton, Blair, B-CC, and Quince Orchard in the coming weeks before playoffs.
Regarding their toughest tests so far this season, Gouterman says Sherwood adjusted well to Good Counsel and River Hill’s quicker speed of play, and the girls need to work off that positive energy. The team needs to be mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared for any opponent by practicing hard, working hard for each other, and competing to ensure Sherwood is ready for their next match, Gouterman explained.
This is Gouterman’s first year as head coach of the varsity, and she was faced with adversity early, facing two of the best non-montgomery county schools in the state. “We still need to stick with the game plan and play our own game,” she stated. “We are fantastic when we play our style of soccer. We are a positive group of girls who thrive off of each other’s energy.”