The St. Luke’s girls varsity soccer team hopes to defend the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) title once again, having won back-to-back championships in 2021 and 2022.
Head Coach Dan Clarke returns for his 14th season in charge of the Storm and welcomes back a good core of players from last year’s winning team.
The veteran coach knows that another win will be a real challenge with so many talented teams within the FAA. “This league is always difficult but we have a talented group of players who I believe can beat anyone on their day,” he said. “We have to stay healthy and continue to work hard to improve every day, but if we do that we will be right up there again this year.”
Three returning players are captains: Sarah Lau ’24, Lena Olbrys ’25, and Emma Sherter ’25. Clarke believes they will be key to the team’s success. “We will rely heavily on the three captains, not just for their leadership skills on and off the field, but because they are all very talented players,” he said.“They offer us so much on both sides of the ball and they will be the driving force behind so much we do.”
The Storm has a young squad with just two seniors on its roster, but Clarke believes the younger players have the ability to be successful. “We have a lot of younger players this year but they are all excellent soccer players, so I am confident they will adapt to the pace and physicality of the high school game.
The Storm opened up its season with a 5-0 win at Hopkins School before losing on the road at Greens Farms Academy. The team bounced back with a 3-2 road win at Rye Country Day School on Thursday, Sept. 21 before losing at home to Sacred Heart on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
Clarke knows his team needs to limit the number of goals they concede to make sure they achieve their goals. “We have to concede less set pieces, but also defend them better as a team. We have already conceded too many goals in this way and it has to be a real focus moving forward. We are playing some great soccer, but need to make sure we don’t give our opponents any easy opportunities.”
The Storm was back on the field on Thursday, Sept. 28 with another home game vs. King School. St. Luke’s improved to 3-2 with a 5-0 win against the Vikings. Clarke hopes his team can build off this momentum: “I hope this can be the catalyst for us as we enter a very important stretch of games,” he said. “If we can keep playing the way we have been with the ball and tighten things up on the defensive end we will be in great shape.”
St. Luke’s Girls Varsity Soccer traveled to The Canterbury School on Saturday, Sept. 30 and picked up a 6-3 win. They are next in action with another road game at Frederick Gunn School on Wednesday, Oct. 4.