CEDAR RAPIDS — Coming off a club soccer state cup win, Xavier girls’ soccer players are hungry for success during the 2019 season.
Sophomores Maggie Conrad and Amanda Ross played on the varsity soccer team as freshman last year.
“The team was able to work hard to improve while still having fun at practice,” Conrad said. “Team chemistry is really important. It’s important to have connections with players so you can play as a unit.”
The Saints finished 2018 at 10-7, losing to Pella in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
Along with playing soccer at Xavier, Ross and Conrad are involved with club soccer year-round.
“It’s pretty busy,” Ross said. “We don’t really have a break season since club is year-round, plus I have ODP (Olympic Development Program), but we have a two-week break for Christmas and small breaks for other holidays.”
ODP is an Olympic Development Program for advanced youth soccer players in the United States. Conrad and Ross are a part of Iowa ODP along with the FC United Soccer Club and have been playing soccer since elementary school.
In the fall, Ross and Conrad’s club soccer team won the State Cup for their age level.
“It was a huge accomplishment for my team and me,” Ross said. “We were not favored for the game but we worked hard and we won it.”
FC United combined with Vision Soccer Academy (VSA) for the season to create VSA United. VSA United 17U won the state title, 1-0, in a penalty kick shootout.
“We have high hopes for the high school season because we know what it feels like to win,” Conrad said.
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Soccer practice begins Monday for girls and Xavier kicks off its season on April 4 at home against West Des Moines Dowling, starting at 4:15 p.m.