Season Outlook: Varsity Women’s Soccer

Franklin Varsity women’s soccer team after a 2-1 loss against McMinnville, on Tuesday, September 10. Photo taken by head coach Jonathan Nussbaum.

After a tough 2-1 loss against McMinnville in the home opener on Tuesday, September 10, the Franklin Varsity Women’s soccer team looks to avenge themselves and continue to improve throughout the remainder of their season. The Lightning started the game off by missing a shot just outside of the box, and then conceded a goal off a corner kick in the 12th minute. After two missed shots by Franklin (in the 17th and 26th minutes), there was a hard foul committed against Franklin player Fatima Sandoval Hernandez (9) in the 37th minute. Hernandez was assisted off the field and did not return to the game. The Lightning then conceded another goal against McMinnville in the 32nd minute. It was a goal off of a cross that was sent into the box. In the second half, Franklin scored one goal, but it wasn’t enough to level the game. Currently, Franklin’s overall record is 4-3.

Bouncing back from the tough home opener loss against McMinnville, seventh-year head coach Jonathan Nussbaum said, “I’m excited about this year, and the future of Franklin soccer”. When  asking Coach Nussbaum what his main focus is for this season, he responded with, “having the group write their own story.”

This being Nussbaum’s third year with three teams (Varsity, JV Maroon and JV2 Grey), it will be an action-packed year. Commonly using a defensive 4-2-3-1 formation, Nussbaum has a defensive mindset while coaching. “A lot of things build from our defense. I like to come with a strong defensive mindset. Then we possess, but we possess with purpose. We use the depth, we use the width, but we’re using that for the purpose of getting into a high percentage shot area.” He bases his coaching philosophy on resilience and several core principles. One of the main core principles that Nussbaum mentioned is striving for success. He explains this as “The peace of mind that is attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable of.” Another main core principle that Franklin women’s soccer strives for is to choose kindness and positivity. “It is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.” Coach Nussbaum also bases his coaching philosophy off the SMART Goals, which stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. These are goals that are more process-based, and less outcome based. “In general, it comes back to the core principles, in terms of what we value, and what we see as important for the team, and then how that carries itself onto the field,” says Nussbaum.

With 21 players on the Varsity roster this season, including 11 upperclassmen and ten underclassmen, the team has a lot of depth. This includes different units to switch it up and throw off other teams. After starting off the 14 game season with back-to-back losses against McMinnville and Aloha, the Lightning look to bounce back and make the playoffs.

This year the team has a new look- there are 21 players on the varsity roster compared to only 16 on Varsity to start last season. Nussbaum explains, “That [Having a large Varsity team] ties into one of our strengths is our depth,” says Nussbaum. “If you saw the McMinnville and Aloha games, the second half is where we came on stronger.” After experiencing many seasons as a head coach, Nussbaum believes the overall perspective of the team is also an important strength. 

The team captains leading the women’s varsity team include four seniors: Abril Betanzos, Loghan Miller, Olivia Miller and Sylvia Goldrich. There are a total of seven seniors, four juniors, six sophomores and four freshmen on this skilled varsity roster. Senior varsity captain Abril Betanzos says, “We have a good connection with all the girls. Our chemistry is good, we tend not to quit and we tend to not put our head down. We keep our positivity up, through rough times in the games, it can be difficult, but overall it’s really good.” Betanzos is a second year varsity player, who plays as a defender and midfielder. The varsity defender and midfielder Abril Betanzos just came back from an Achilles tendon injury that she suffered in early September, causing her to miss three weeks. She returned the first time on September 10th, against McMinnville. “It feels nice to come back. It’s a feeling you get when you get the rush in you, and the adrenaline gets going. It’s something you don’t know how to explain that well.”

Four year varsity forward and midfielder, captain Loghan Miller said “This season I really want to focus on having fun. It’s been a challenging and an incredible learning experience and so this year the team chemistry is good off and on the field.” Miller wants to focus on having fun this season, but she also is going to miss the high school soccer experience a lot. “It’s so crazy, sometimes I think that I’ll have my last Grant game, or Cleveland game, and that fact is stunning. It’s sad too, I’ve put a lot into the program and gotten so so much out and it’s gone by just like that.”

Out of all the games this season, Coach Nussbaum is most looking forward to playing Barlow, and feels they will be the most challenging opponent to face this season. Franklin faced Barlow on Thursday, September 26th, at Barlow. Coach Nussbaum believes that process-based goals are more important than outcome-based goals. He explains, “if we have faith in those processes, the outcomes will come… Everything that we do stems from the core principles.” “Those are the things that we value, the things that we want Franklin soccer to embody. If we do those, everything else will take care of itself. If we do those, we will be resilient.” Coach Nussbaum believes that there will be positive results, and they will have a successful season if resilience is used and the team follows the core principles. “If we come out every day and give our best effort, we will be successful,” Nussbaum explains. By following the core principles and using resilience, coach Jonathan Nussbaum hopes to lead Franklin’s women’s varsity team to the playoffs, and a state championship.

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