GIRLS SOCCER PREVIEW: With new head coach, Lady Lancers aim to continue with yearly goal of finishing season among the top in the Freeway League

Midfielder+junior+Isabel+Miramontes+winds+up+to+kick+the+ball+into+the+netting+during+a+Nov.+14%2C+2022%2C+after+school+practice+on+the+Sunny+Hills+field.+

Rebekah Kim

Midfielder junior Isabel Miramontes winds up to kick the ball into the netting during a Nov. 14, 2022, after school practice on the Sunny Hills field.

Coach: Antonio Arenas (head coach), Sergio Miramontes (assistant coach)

Top Returning Players: Cheyenne Dohan (12), Isabel Miramontes (11), Isabella Ramirez (12), Celine Villasenor (11), Lauren Won (10) 

Top Newcomers: Melissa Arellano (11), Madison Balkus (9), Christabel Cho (11), Chloe Kim (11)

Last Season: The Lady Lancers finished fourth in the Freeway League with a 4-5-1 record (17-7-2 overall), which qualified them for CIF playoffs. The team failed to advance to the second round with an 8-1 loss to Temecula Valley High School. 

Outlook: With higher hopes this season, the Lady Lancers look to strengthen their playing skills while competing in Division 1 and achieve their goal of winning the Freeway League championship. 

“Our biggest goal is to win every game possible, but we’re looking to take it one game at a time,” said Arenas, who’s in his first year as head coach replacing his long-time predecessor, social science teacher Jeff Gordon. “Finding our critical factors of success will lead us into the season prepared and hopefully [help us] win.” 

With four newcomers in the squad, Arenas said he looks forward to increasing potential in their play. 

“I’m always looking for players that can make an impact, and these girls are fully capable of bringing our team the potential we need,” he said. 

The Lady Lancers participated in different tournaments during their preseason with their best showing at the Best in the West semifinal at Warren High School in Downey, defeating Riverside Poly High School 1-0 on Dec. 17, 2022. In the final round, Eleanor Roosevelt High School ultimately scored a close 3-0 over the Lady Lancers

“We’ve been working really hard during preseason by incorporating different techniques in practices we haven’t used in the past,” forward captain Dohan said. “I think we can be really successful and place high this preseason.”

As the new person in charge of the program, Arenas said communication is key.

“Everything we do will be done as a team,” he said. 

Everything we do will be done as a team.”

— head coach Antonio Arenas

The team is focusing on staying motivated during practices with the help of additional training techniques incorporated by the coaching staff.

“A new method we’ve been using as a team is going to the weight room and training before actual practice,” the head coach said. “The entire team is willing to train very hard and work for the challenges so I’m expecting a very successful season.”

The Lady Lancers currently stand at 12-6-1 after they most recently defeated Fullerton Union High School 5-0 on Thursday, Jan. 19. 

The squad hopes to continue its win streak facing its next opponent at a home game against La Habra High School on Tuesday, Jan. 24.