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OLYMPIC LEAGUE GIRLS SOCCER : Valley Christian girls soccer ends Olympic League action with another goose egg

May 5, 2021

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter


The Valley Christian High girls soccer team has four seniors, one of which is midfielder Sophie Schrock, a four-year varsity member, and it was only fitting that she scored the last goal of the last league game for the 2020-2021 season. But it wasn’t about her second goal of the game or the previous 10 that the Lady Defenders scored against Heritage Christian High this past Tuesday afternoon.

This game was all about defense, as has been the case all season long, as V.C. posted an 11-0 victory and in the process, did not allow a goal this season in Olympic League action. The Lady Defenders, who are ranked second in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 poll, previously claimed the program’s fifth straight league title, and 11th in the past 13 seasons, outscoring the league 59-0. V.C., which improved to 12-0-2, has yielded six goals all season as it visited Sage Hill High on May 6 in preparation for next week’s playoffs.

“To be quite truthful, I would have never expected that,” said V.C. first-year head coach Kyle Ornsbee. “At the beginning of the year, you never expect to have something like that happen. That’s pretty special, it’s pretty rare and I’m just grateful for the team effort the girls put forward. They really committed to the defensive side of the ball.”

“Tons of credit to our defense; they do so much back there,” Schrock said. “Our keepers have been incredible. I know you see a lot of stats on the offense, but it’s mainly defense, because if we don’t have defense, holding down the fort back there, then there’s no way we can get up to score.”

Heritage Christian didn’t record a shot on goal in the entire game while the Lady Defenders had 23 in the first half. At the intermission, it was 7-0 with Schrock scoring on a breakaway in the 34th minute. She previously missed a chance in the sixth minute when her shot barely missed the left side of the net and another opportunity in the 37th minute when her shot hit the left post. Schrock also assisted on three goals from junior forward Jillian Beck, the first coming in in the 18th minute, then again two minutes later and finally in the 31st minute.

Two minutes into the second half, Schrock assisted on a goal from freshman forward Ava Haas and had a hand in a goal from sophomore defender Maranda Prins in the 49th minute. V.C. spent final 20 minutes of the game mostly playing a game of keep-away as it brushed up on its stellar passing skills.

“Sophie has a special spot in my heart because I was able to coach her in middle school as well, Ornsbee said. “Every year I’ve coached at Valley, she’s been on the team. She’s a special player. She’s obviously very skilled, she has a knack for goal. But it’s her humble spirit, her humble attitude and her team spirit that sets her apart from a lot of very talented players. That humble spirit is just infectious. If she is buying in, especially since she’s a senior, then everyone else is buying in.”

Freshman midfielder Gracelyn Murray scored in the 28th minute off a rebound from a Haas miss and again in the 39th minute on a breakaway, Haas would score in the 32nd minute when her shot snuck in under the crossbar and Beck would add her fourth tally in the 56th minute to round out V.C.’s second highest scoring output of the season.

“I’m a firm believer in the defensive side of the game,” Ornsbee said. “I believe that can get you far. Defense has been a culture around her for a long time. [Former head coach] Kim Looney has done a tremendous job establishing that over the years and I was fortunate enough to learn that from her as her assistant the past few years. We’re just looking to continue that. We’re doing that a little differently; a different style this year, but same concepts.”

The shutout against Heritage Christian was the 11th in 14 games this season. The Defenders had nine shutouts in each of the past two seasons and 16 whitewashes in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. In addition to the shutouts, V.C. has allowed eight goals in league action the past five seasons while posting a 36-0-0 league mark during that time. Finally, a win over Sage Hill will send V.C. into the playoffs without a loss for the first time in at least 24 seasons. The program’s previous best record before this season was during the 2002-2003 campaign when that team went 20-2-2.

“That’s a pretty crazy stat,” Ornsbee said. “Again, it just goes back to the culture of the defensive side of the ball has been established here for a long time. And, we’ve just been fortunate to have a lot of talented players come through our school for a very small school. They’ve committed to the program; they’ve committed to the culture and it’s a testament to the players and the coaches in the past.”

“Covid has obviously changed a lot of what this year has been for us,” Schrock said. “But I think going into this season, we didn’t know what it was going to look like or how many games we were guaranteed. Every time we step onto this field, we know it’s a blessing and an opportunity. So, whenever we do get a chance to play a game, we all take hold of that and come together as a team.”

During Schrock’s high school career, V.C. has yielded 57 goals and compiled a 63-13-5 record. She is also the first four-year varsity player not to have lost or tied a league game at V.C. in at least 24 seasons. The last time V.C. lost a league game was Feb. 5, 2016, a 2-0 setback at Maranatha High. The next season, V.C. won the Division 6 championship.

“Both coaches have done an incredible job to raise us defense first because without defense, you can’t get forward into that offense,” Schrock said. “We’ve always been taught that since day one to always win our defensive battles so that we can move forward. So, defense is definitely a huge part of Valley soccer.”