For most high school team captains, making it to the CCS finals is a once-in-a-career kind of highlight. However, for girls varsity soccer’s Allie Coyne, a senior, it’s been the norm.
This is her fourth year on varsity soccer, and since the 2014-15 season the team has advanced to the CCS finals. Twice, they claimed the championship.
The team ended this season with an overall record of 19 wins, one loss, and three ties, ranking first in the De Anza division and advancing through the CCS open division bracket (the region’s eight best teams) to an eventual 3-1 victory in the finals over powerhouse Archbishop Mitty High School, who, according to Coyne, regularly win their division.
Coach Ivan Bandov credits their success to the players’ hard work, and their “super high chemistry level.”
“You need talented players,” coach Ivan Bandov said, “and we’re fortunate to have lots of those over the years.”
He also praised the team’s leaders, naming captains Allie Coyne, Karissa Hayes, and Natalie Brehaut, for bringing the team together and being standout players.
Coyne recognized the team’s closeness as one of their strengths, saying that the group felt very tight-knit this year. Not only do many of them play on a club soccer team together, she said, they did a number of bonding activities and “everyone was just really welcoming and encouraging of each other.”
From the beginning of the season, the team knew their strength.
“We set team goals at the beginning of the year, and we wanted to win league and get to the finals of CCS, so we always had that in mind,” Coyne said. “And then it kind of started turning into reality once league wrapped up and CCS started. We gained momentum — especially for the seniors — [because last year’s loss]was really a bummer and did not leave a good taste in our mouths, we were really motivated to win this time.”
Winning it all, Coyne said, felt amazing.
“It was really incredible,” Coyne said. “At least for me, I knew leaving Mountain View, this was such a great way to go out and really was a really good byproduct of all the hard work we had put in over not just this year but years leading up to it.”
This year, the team will be losing much of its starting roster due to its seven graduating seniors, which includes all of its captains as well as leading goal-scorer Natasha Harris.
“That’s definitely a problem for high school [teams],” Bandov said. “Especially at a public school, you never know what’s coming in, but luckily the club soccer programs in the area are strong.”
Despite this, Coyne is hopeful for the team’s future. She said she expects the team to be able to fill the holes in their roster next year and continue to be competitive.