Girls Soccer Gets Set for Busy Spring Break Schedule


Credit to Hannah Medlin

Senior Madelynn Wood challenges a FZW defender on 4/13 in a varsity soccer match at Howell North.

By Dominic Hoscher, Editor

The varsity soccer season is officially underway for Howell North, and the team is already off to a strong start. On Tuesday night, the Lady Knights opened up their regular season with a thrilling double overtime victory over the St. Charles Pirates behind a Caty Arnold shutout in goal and a game-winning goal by Madelynn Wood. While it’s always important to get off to a good start at the beginning of the season, it was especially essential for this year’s campaign as the win leads straight into the team’s spring break.

Most students will be relaxing from home or going on a vacation during this break, but it’ll be much different for players on the girls soccer team as they get set for a loaded spring break schedule. This includes the team having to practice nearly every day as well as competing in five games over the two week period. With multiple fixtures on the dock, the Lady Knights have set both individual and team goals for this set of matches.

“My goal is the process of the regular season. We want to improve, we want to get better individually, we want to get better as a team,” head coach Mark Olwig said. “We want to be able to compete and regular season is important and the games matter but at the end of the season it’s May that counts.”

Over the break, Olwig and his Lady Knights are going to try and figure out what formation best fits their team not just for the upcoming games, but for the season as a whole. One of the best ways in doing this is by putting together strong performances and collecting wins. This will not come easy for Howell North, however, as they’re facing both a packed and challenging schedule in the coming weeks.

The varsity team’s first set of matches are in the Parkway College Showcase at Lou Fusz soccer park on Friday and Saturday, a competition that consists of over 100 teams all across the Midwest. The Lady Knights will first face-off against a nationally ranked Gurnee Warren side from Illinois, and then one of the top teams in the Kansas City area in Liberty North. After a difficult opening two fixtures, Howell North will host Fort Zumwalt West on March 27 in their first home match of the season followed by a game at Troy just two days later. They will then wrap up their spring break on April 3 against key rivals Francis Howell Central.

From playing nationally ranked teams to heavy rivals, it’ll be a demanding two week period for the Lady Knights. In order to exit the break with a positive record, senior defender Nicole Grellner knows that her team will have to execute the fundamentals.

“I hope we can stay calm,” Grellner said, “we get very anxious while we’re playing and we just need to find players on the field and hopefully finish our scoring opportunities and capitalize on that.”

This is the first time in years where the Lady Knights have had to deal with such a busy schedule over a break, as spring break is much later in the month of March than it usually is. This creates multiple challenges for the players who are forced to stay fit in game-shape over what’s usually a relaxing time of the season,

It’s not all negative, however. Howell North’s active break will give the team numerous opportunities to improve individually and as a team. The impact of the loaded schedule goes beyond the game itself. It’ll allow the Lady Knights to create an even stronger team-bond that can carry them into the postseason and even outside of the game of soccer.  

“We’re going to be touching the ball all of spring break, whether if it’s during a game or in practices it’s going to keep us better and make us better as a team,” junior wingback Sam Cary said. “We’re having team lunches, and team-bonding over break so it gets us a lot closer as a team.”