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Girls’ Soccer Senior Night: A Victory

| Miriam Dijamco | mdijamco20@dtechhs.org | February 25, 2020 |

Senior Lara Thorley smiling after the game. Photo by Mariam Dijamco

On the evening of Thursday, February 13th, the d.tech girls’ varsity soccer team had their Senior Night game at Mills High School against Mount Shasta. As the last match of the season, the game celebrated the last game the two seniors played on the d.tech soccer team. 

Both seniors Lara Thorley and Kate Hayashigatani have been on and stayed with the girls’ soccer team since its founding year during their freshman year. After years of commitment and positive impact on the team, it was time for Thorley and Hayashigatani to hang up their cleats after one final game. 

Before the game, team members gathered around holding orange and white balloons as the girl’s soccer coach, Billy Brush, showered the seniors with praise for their dedication and positive impact on the team. Thornley and Hayashigatani were then handed large colorful posters decorated with their names. The girls’ soccer coach, Billy Brush then announced the names of the girls as they ran through an archway made up of their teammates. Afterward, they were handed posters showing their support and appreciation for the seniors.

The stands were full of overwhelming support from both parents and students as d.tech’s soccer team jogged onto the field. 

The game was a race to the finish, with Mount Shasta scoring a goal during the first half of the game. After the break during the halfway point, the girls gained momentum – scoring three goals in the last half, securing their final goal during the last three minutes. The varsity team won their game 3:1 against Mount Shasta, ending the season with many smiles and hugs.

Senior Kate Hayashigatani in the game with the ball. Photo by Mariam Dijamco

The girls’ soccer team has come a long way and has become a close-knit family over the season and throughout the years. “I think that I’ll miss getting to play with everybody,” Hayashigatani states, “I think that’s the last time I’m ever gonna play soccer on a team and have that.supportive group of girls always backing you up whenever you need.”

Senior Lara Thornley with the ball. Photo by Mariam Dijamco

Every year has come with its challenges, but the girls’ soccer team has been steadily growing over time.  “I started the team,” Thornley says, “…the first year was kind of us…getting to know each other and seeing our skill levels…” 

“I remember the first season we would often have fewer players and not enough players for games,” Hayashigatani says, “but we’d still have to play or we’d have no subs and now the team has grown so much. We have a lot of interest.” Thornley adds, “everyone was willing to help with [making the team succeed]…everyone was willing to put some effort into working around the struggles…I’ll probably miss that.” She reflects, “I didn’t really realize that until our last game on Friday…I was actually crying so much.”

Seniors Kate Hayashigatani (right) and Lara Thornley (left) after the game with gifts. Photo by Mariam Dijamco

Whether or not Thornley or Hayashigatani will play soccer in college is yet to be decided. For Hayashigatani, it’s unlikely. Thornley, however, is leaving it up in the air, saying “my second choice for college – their head soccer coach has been reaching out to me…I’m not sure if I’m gonna go to that college but if I do, I’ll probably be playing soccer.” 

Though uncertain, Thornley sees college as a way to continue to play with others that have a similar growth as dtech with a longer record of success. “…it’s the same type of thing where…they weren’t always the best…the new coaches, [have] gotten them better and work through challenges.”

Whatever the path Thornley and Hayashigatani choose to pursue in the future, they will be remembered for their positive presence

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