The St. Helens High School Junior Varsity soccer team is not ranked in the state of Oregon. Sadly, none of the JV teams are. Only Varsity teams get ranked which, to me, moves JV teams into the realm of Second Class Citizens. I say that realizing the goal of all JV team members is to move up to the Varsity ranks as quickly as possible. As a result, there is a lot of competition, sometimes to the point of being unhealthy for all involved … for some teams.
The Lady Lions JV Soccer Team (LLJVST), I’m happy to report, does not even lean a little bit toward the unhealthy side of things. They are a good team that never get written up in the newspaper like their Varsity mentors do, but they should because they win games more often.
Yesterday, for example, St. Helens played Hillsboro High School in an unusual venue where both JV and Varsity teams played adjacent to each other. Diane, I, and a gathering of perhaps 10 other parents attended the game to cheer our girls on, which some of us did in very enthusiastic, loud voices which that were apparently regarded as unnecessary, and definitely unwanted, by the opposing team.
It was interesting to see how the Varsity game was going while also watching the JV team. We couldn’t catch-all the activity over there but the scoreboard kept us apprised of the situation. The JV field didn’t have a scoreboard so we had to keep track in our heads.
Adding an element of great interest, and challenge, was the fact that JV and Varsity Hillsboro teams were unbeaten. As we watched the scoreboard progress from 1-0, to 4-0, in favor of Hillsboro Varsity it was evident this trend would continue on the varsity side. The final score was 7-1.
On the JV side, things were a little different. Varsity had 3 umpires, we had one. In our St. Helens crowd we also had 2 lady soccer umpires who know the game and helped prompt our lone ump to pay more attention to activity away from the ball. It was pretty physical and there was a distinct danger that someone was going to get hurt if fouls weren’t called when made.
The JV game was very well-played defensively on both sides for much of the first half, then St. Helens scored. It was 1-0, something Hillsboro wasn’t prepared for and it appeared this was used as a reason to escalate the physical nature of the game. We in the stands, cheered all the good plays, and pointed out obvious misses by the umpire which seemed to upset the opponents who started explaining to us the reason an infraction was committed, even if it wasn’t called. It served no purpose other than to make them angry, for no reason.
Soon it was 2-0 and, when the final whistle blew, it was 3-0, St. Helens. Our JV girls held the previously unbeaten Hillsboro girls scoreless for their first time. It was a glorious win and our girls displayed exceptional behavior. They know what it’s like to lose, and they accept defeat gracefully. Sadly, even though they play a great game, that’s not true for all teams.
Oh! Did I mention that our Lydia is the JV goalie? She made some awesome saves and will be sporting some impressive bruises for a while as a result. Team defense helped secure the win by ensuring the ball was kept in play at the other end of the field for much of the game.