Girls soccer starts strong

Four D1 commits on varsity


After scoring a goal against Evanston to tie the game 1-1, junior Margy Porta (far left) celebrates with her teammates on May 7. The final score was 2-2, and as of May 21, the team has a record of 9-1-3. Photo by Sarah Boeke

Bella Kahn and Ellie Walden

As soon as the national anthem started playing, rain began to pour at New Trier’s Robert Naughton Field on April 29. After the song ended, junior Margy Porta huddled with her teammates on the sidelines and ran onto the soccer field to take on the Trevians.

“New Trier is always the team to beat.

“We were able to keep it as a tie and, as silly as it sounds, it felt like a win for us because it just proved we deserve to play at their level,” Porta said in a phone interview.

As of May 21, the team, including four Division I commits, has a record of 9-1-3.

Assistant Coach Paul Gibbs said a game that highlighted this team’s skill was when the team defeated Buffalo Grove.

According to the Chicagoland Soccer website, prior to the game against Buffalo Grove, Glenbrook North was ranked 38th in the Chicagoland area and Buffalo Grove was ranked sixth.

According to Porta, “We were tied 1-1 in the first half and then ended up winning 5-1.

“Knowing we can come back and thrash these other teams down is super fun to watch and be a part of.”

Seniors Annie Welch and Riley Philbin signed with Division I soccer teams and juniors Margy Porta and Morissa Lambert verbally committed to Division I soccer teams earlier this year.

According to Gibbs, although some individual players are very skilled, the team’s cooperation is what allows the entire team to play cohesively.

Welch said in a phone interview that while she played club soccer her first three years of high school instead of GBN soccer, she decided to play for the school this year because exposure to new coaches and teammates is important going into college.

The team’s performance is improved by its ability to consistently implement the coaches’ suggestions in their gameplay, Welch said.

Coach Gibbs likes to focus on playing out of the back or from the goalkeeper, Welch said. The play will start with Welch and move up the field accordingly. The team has implemented this strategy in almost all of their games.

According to Head Coach Anthony Valsamis, “Even though we have these players that have the ability to play at the D1 level, they still involve their teammates who aren’t at that level and we’re all-around better as a team for it.”

Junior Taylor Brocato said in a phone interview that she has benefited from the addition of new D1 athletes.

“[Annie] has a lot more knowledge than me and I can learn so much from her,” said Brocato. “[Annie and Riley] make me want to do better and push harder.”

As of May 21, the team is ranked third in the Central Suburban League South according to the MaxPreps website. Philbin leads the team with 19 goals and 5 assists while Porta has 8 goals and 5 assists.

According to Porta,“My goal for the team is just being able to go out there and compete against these tougher teams.

“We have the ability and as long as we have the mindset, we can go out and win whatever game we want to, whenever we want to.”