The Springfield girls soccer team can’t control what division they’re in. They can’t control their schedule. And they can’t control the struggles of seasons past.
But there is one thing the Wildcats can decide, and they’ve been successful at it.
“They stay positive. That’s the biggest thing I’ve tried to instill in them,” second-year coach Amy Miller said. “Your attitude is the only thing you can control.”
The Wildcats wrapped up the regular season with a 4-12-0 record overall. That’s one more win than last season’s 3-12-2 record. Miller and her Wildcats will take it as they continue to build the program to compete in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
Springfield hasn’t recorded more than four wins in a season since North and South merged in 2008. Miller thinks that – and more – could be on the horizon. The Wildcats start one senior and four are in the program. With the majority of the roster intact for next season the team feels it’s making progress.
Freshman Natalie Shaffer, slowed by injury this season, ranks among the GWOC leaders in saves with 134. Senior Meghan Leeth stepped up in goal, including making seven saves in a 4-1 win against Northeastern on Sept. 11. The team has also been without injured keeper Jackie Grayson, an all-league selection as a freshman last season.
Junior Annmeri Turner and sophomore Maecie Burkhardt tied for the team lead with five goals. Sophomore Lily Foley has four goals. All three also have a pair of assists.
Turner also set the Wildcats’ career scoring record and has 20 this season. Carli Cary, who graduated last year, held the record with 17.
“If we can add a win or two every season then we’re going in the right direction,” said Miller, who coaches with her sister Leah Ann McCurdy and also Kara Thompson. “Those underclassmen are only getting better and getting more game experience. I’m very optimistic. I think the future is bright for Springfield girls soccer.”
Miller, who works at Roosevelt Middle School, started the Roosevelt Soccer Club last year to introduce soccer to the students. She also runs a youth camp in the summer.
About 30 players make up the varsity and junior varsity rosters this season. The goal, just like the win total, is to go higher.
Springfield has wins this season against Stebbins (2-1), Yellow Springs (3-1), Northeastern (4-1) and Fairborn (2-1). The victory over Fairborn on Sept. 25 came when the Skyhawks were ranked No. 10 in the Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association poll.
Attempting to build a program is challenging enough. Doing it in the GWOC National East adds to that challenge considering No. 2 Beavercreek, No. 3 Centerville and No. 8 Kettering Fairmont are also ranked in the MVSSCA poll.
“Sometimes it doesn’t look like we’re growing when we have to play the Beavercreeks and Centervilles of the world,” Miller said. “Our goal is to get better every year.
“Long term we want to see more consistency in the GWOC and get to .500. If we can consistently compete with schools of similar talent that would be a big success for Springfield soccer.”
Miller said several coaches have complimented the Wildcats on their determination and positive attitude this season.
“They’re out there having fun. They don’t give up,” Miller said. “We’re going to give it everything we’ve got. If the other team is more skilled we’re not going to make it easy for them. … I think coaches and teams are starting to realize Springfield isn’t a pushover game anymore.”
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