BLUE GRIFFINS are ready to take on arch-rival St. Mike’s
BLUE GRIFFINS TAKE NEAR-PERFECT RECORD TO MATCH WITH ARCH-RIVALS ST. MIKE’S
The Santa Fe Prep girls soccer program can stake a claim unlike every other soccer program in the state.
The Blue Griffins are the only team without a loss. That’s right, there’s a big goose egg under the L column of their record. Their only blemish thus far is a 2-all tie with Bosque School on Aug. 29. Heading into Saturday’s match with Monte del Sol, Santa Fe Prep is 11-0-1.
“It’s really cool,” said junior forward Lynn Robey. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a season like this. The last couple of years have been rough, and this year it feels like it’s all coming together.”
Indeed it has been, but the big test comes Monday when the Griffins face arch-rival St. Michael’s. It is a rematch of their 5-3 win last month that ended a Santa Fe Prep victory drought against the Lady Horsemen of 27 matches dating back to the 2005 season.
“It was amazing,” senior centerback Ariane Talou said. “Ever since I was on the team in the eighth grade, the seniors always told that St. Mike’s was there and that they were the team we had to beat because they were our rivals. In the eighth grade, it didn’t really sink in, but beating them my senior year was like a dream come true.”
So, of course, they had a raucous celebration.
“Our coach brought donuts to practice the next day,” Talou said with a chuckle. “We couldn’t dwell on the success. We had to just keep moving forward.”
The season has been all about moving forward as the Griffins brought together the exact same roster as last season — a group that reached the 1A/4A quarterfinals before losing to St. Mike’s.
“We all played together last year, so the team dynamic is really strong and we all work together really well,” said Robey, who has 15 goals and 15 assists.
The big revelation has been freshman Anna Swanson, who leads the state in scoring, with 38 goals — after 17 last season — and has gotten at least one in every game except the Bosque draw.
“We have the scoring punch. Swanson and Robey are a great tandem duo,” said Santa Fe Prep coach Stephanie Coppola. “They’re doing amazing things on the ball. And we’ve been playing well defensively.”
In reality, she said, the team has been strong across the board.
“We’re a well-rounded team,” Coppola said. “We have a lot of good players all over the field. We’re a solid team in every position. We don’t have a lot of depth, but every player contributes.”
The coach kind of could see a strong season coming.
“I knew we were going to have a good season because we have a lot of returning players, because we got into the quarterfinals and we played pretty closely in that game,” Coppola said. “The girls worked in the offseason. But I had no way of knowing that they would come together quite this nicely.”
All that being said, nobody is handing the Griffins any trophies just yet.
“We still have a ways to go yet,” Coppola said. “We’ve played some of the top teams, but not all of them. I’m hopeful that we’ll continue to improve every day.”
Santa Fe Prep’s Lynn Robey, center, battles Taos’ Isabella Padilla, left, and Korah Garner during Tuesday’s match won by the Blue Griffins, 7-2.
Santa Fe Prep’s girls soccer coach Stephanie Coppola, center, talks to her team during halftime in Tuesday’s match against Taos.
Santa Fe Prep’s Blake Trevisani, left, fires a shot between Taos’ Margot Goler and Marlen Stoessel for a score during the first half of Tuesday’s match.