WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) -
Continued success is hard to accomplish but the Rider Lady Raiders soccer team just won their fifth-straight district title since moving to class 5A and the chance to be district champs isn’t lost on them.
“It’s pretty exciting," Rider senior defensive midfielder Angela Fiorentino said. “It’s my senior year and I think we have done it all four years so it’s pretty exciting.”
“I guess it is rewarding," Rider senior defensive midfielder Sarah MacLagan said. "It’s exciting to continue a tradition that you started previously in your years and it’s nice to not step down a peg once you’re a senors and it’s your last time to do it.”
After losing some key seniors from last years regional final team... there were some question marks coming into this season... but its been the self-less play from the girls that has them back on top of the district.
“Everyone is out here to do their best but then also help the team do their best so I think that cooperative mentality has really helped us achieve things that we have set out to do," MacLagan said.
“They are more willing to make the right pass than maybe take on a player and try to score themselves," Rider head coach Carl Wiersema said. "So really unselfish.”
This unselfish play, combined with a strong family-like bond is the reason seven Lady Raiders have scored six or more goals this season.
“Well I think we are really good at passing and moving the ball around and without that team chemistry it would be hard to really cohesively move the ball up the sides, cross and get some shots up," Fiorentino said.
But now it’s playoff time and the Lady Raiders have their eyes set on Grapevine, who has knocked them out of the playoffs the past three years.
But before they can look ahead to the potential regional semifinal matchup, Rider is preparing for the first round of games and coach Wiersema says it’s the time spent away from Memorial Stadium that will help them make another deep run.
“Non-district games, we were playing Tuesday, Friday and Tuesday," coach Wiersema said. "All on the road so I think our team is used to traveling and I think that is one advantage for us because a lot of the metroplex teams, for instance, that travel 10 or 15 minutes for their games; we are on a bus for two hours almost all the time so it’s something we get used to.”