The Loudoun Valley soccer team has made a lot of noise this season, starting off 16-1 with big wins over Millbrook, Riverside, and Park View. A complete change of pace from the previous season. The team has climbed their way inside the top 10 for the state of Virginia.
Successful play starts with strong leadership. Dan Stanley is a senior team captain, and also acts as a role model for the younger players. Stanley emphasizes how important leadership is by keeping everyone on track and focused. Stanley spoke on the significance of team chemistry. He emphasized how spending years playing together has given the team opportunities to pick up on how each other play, improving their play greatly.
“There isn’t much to say about what we’ve done differently except that we’ve all matured together as a team after losing only 2 seniors last year so we know how we play together,” Stanley said.
Arguably the most important position on the field is the goalie. Being a leader is a natural characteristic for a goalie. Tanner Newport is the junior starting goalie. Newport has had a major impact in the team’s success as a goalie and as a leader. Newport states that being a goalie is more than just stopping shots. It takes leadership as well.
“It’s more than just stop shopping. I need to be a leader of sorts, keep the back line in place and keep everyone on their toes and ready at all times,” said Newport.
Sean Welch has been coaching for the Valley soccer program for 5 years. His philosophy as a coach, is to make sure his players play hard, smart, and ensuring that they don’t quit. When asked about the team this year compared to last year, Welch said that the kids on the team are very similar to last year, with only 3 new players.
“Out of 18 players we only have 3 on the team that weren’t here last year or before that. So chemistry plays a big part in our success,” Welch said.