Houston’s Heros

Mitch Moskowitz, Reporter

As the final whistle sounded, the Houston High School girls’ soccer team erupted in wave of emotion. For months, this group of young women had trained non-stop with one goal in mind. Now, after countless hours of practice amidst the intense Autumn heat, their hope had come to fruition. The girls of Houston High’s soccer team became state champions.

Nearly ten months later, the Houston soccer machine is once again gearing up for another run at a state championship. Benefiting from a practically unchanged group of starters, the expectations of both the team as well as the school are quite high. Even with the departure of Kelsey Pearce, an NSCAA All-American and last year’s 2013 NSCAA Tennessee Player of the, the Lady Mustangs epitomize both talent and determination to succeed.

While last year proved to be quite a success for the Lady Mustangs, a legitimate sense of recognition still eluded the team. “On game day, everyone on the football team dresses up at school, and teachers are like ‘good luck tonight.’ For soccer, you walk around the school in your jersey and people ask if you’re volleyball,” explains senior soccer standout Caroline Heavey. Caroline, along with the rest of the squad, recognize that the popularity of soccer is much smaller than other sports at Houston, but still feel disappointed with the lack of attendance at their games. “Unless you’re one of our [the players] good friends or have a genuine interest in soccer, you’re not going to our games,” states Heavey. Due to last year’s successes, the soccer players are hoping that the numbers of students attending the matches will increase. “People don’t realize the effort that goes into beating a team by several goals. The box score might make it seem easy…but it’s not,” laments Robin Pennella, also a senior on the soccer team.

Essentially, the Lady Mustangs soccer players are all heroes. Each game, these determined young women push themselves well beyond their physical limits in order to play the sport they love for a school that often leaves them in the dark. The team wins game after game without expecting recognition from the very people whom they play for. Rain or shine, fans or no fans, the Lady Mustangs soccer team will continue to fight for their school, because at the end of the day, these young ladies are not simply playing for Houston. They are Houston.