The Ridgefield High School girls soccer team has notched over a handful of wins in the early season as new coach Steven Evans has taken over the reins of the program.
Evans took the job to replace the previous coach, Jeff Lukowiak.
“(The season) is going well,” Evans said. “It’s my first season with the team, and I feel like there’s a very positive culture around and a lot of support with the program, so I feel pretty darn lucky.”
Evans highlighted the girls who he said are both excited and supportive of one another.
Evans likes his role as a first time high school coach and is getting settled into his new position. Prior to his coaching gig in Ridgefield, Evans coached club soccer teams year-round, so the Spudders offered him a different experience.
“I know there’s kind of a different environment around the high school teams, but I feel like it’s already allowed me to learn a lot and definitely going to allow me to grow in my career in coaching,” he said.
Evans noted one difference with high school soccer is the school pride that surrounds the program, which gives players a buy in and improves their commitment to the team.
The athletes “really seem to want to do everything that they can to help make the program successful,” he said.
The team sported an 8-3 record last year, something Evans hopes to build on during this season.
“I think the team’s been strong in the past. There’s a lot of good players that have come out of this area and this school,” he said. “I was looking at results from last year, and I think a lot of the teams from our conference ended up doing a very good job in the playoffs and making it very far. I think the group’s already been strong. I’m just trying to bring everything that I’ve learned over my playing experience and my coaching experience to help that grow.”
There are a few players he highlighted. They include senior Claire Jones, who plans to go to Oregon State University next year. He said Jones has “taken on a very strong leadership role” and has helped the other players grow.
Then there’s junior Eliana Petersen, who he said was voted to be captain. Petersen “brings a different type of leadership” and many of the other players look up to her, Evans said.
As for junior Keaira Farley, Evans said she “does a great job on the field, she does her job, and I think a lot of the players kind of follow in suit with that type of attitude of doing what she can for the team and whatever is needed.”
The team currently sits at a 6-1-1 record.
In their most recent game against R.A. Long High School, the Spudders initially tied, 1-1, but lost after R.A. Long won in a penalty shoot out. Up next for the Spudders, they are set to face off against Woodland at home on Oct. 13.
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