Titans’ Girls Soccer Seeks Success in Numbers
Along with dominating possession of the ball, the Titans are working to improve their ability to score with every opportunity they get. Here players line up to practice making goals.
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The Olympus High School girl’s soccer team is finding strength in numbers this season. The Titans welcomed all of the 55 players who attended tryouts on Aug. 1 to join the team, making this group the largest in school history.
“This is the first year we’ve been able to make a freshman, sophomore, junior and varsity team,” senior co-captain Sage Nelson said.
Despite the titles, players are not restricted to individual sub-teams based on age or class rank. Instead, head coach Nermin Sasivarevic determines each group’s roster based on experience and skill level.
“If the girls come out to tryouts, we’ll find them a place to play on the team,” Sasivarevic said. “And it really helps to have a freshman and sophomore teams because it gives our new players an opportunity to play and get experience.”
The Titans credit their growth to the large group of incoming freshmen that joined the team this year.
“We have a ton of freshman this year,” senior co-captain Sadie Brockbank said. “It’s kinda fun because when we were freshman, we looked up to the seniors then and they were really fun and nice and inclusive. And I feel like that’s encouraging me to carry that on and be that to the freshmen this year.”
Because of the Titans’ large roster, captains Sage and Sadie are both making an extra effort to include every member of the team in order to fortify unity and camaraderie within the group.
“This year we are having pasta parties before every game and having team sleepovers and stuff,” Sage said. “We’re also dressing up on days that we have home games, which is new. We think this will make us look more professional and will let everyone know that we are a respected team.”
Along with team changes off the field, the Titans are also planning to make significant changes on the field to increase their chances of taking first in the region tournament.
“A majority of these girls I have worked with for three years,” Sasivarevic said. “So they know my expectations and my style of play. Now we need to start working on getting these players on the same page and getting them in the best shape possible.”
Since taking the head coaching position three years ago, Sasivarevic, who played professionally in Bosnia, has been working to implement a particular style of play into the Titans’ program.
“We want to be a team who dominates possession and who creates more opportunities on the field,” Sasivarevic said. “But sometime that’s not enough to win a game. If you want to win a game you have to have efficacy and efficiency and the girls need to be scoring on every opportunity. If they don’t, then they will probably be punished.”
During the preseason, the Titans have been working on speed training to improve their rate of play and physical therapy to ensure their bodies stay as healthy as possible. Regardless, Sasivarevic says his team will need to work together to improve during every practice and every game.
“This is a game where being better isn’t always enough to win,” Sasivarevic said. “Here you can be better all you want and sometimes it’s still not enough. Soccer can be really, really ruthless that way.”
To reach their goals of being an exceptional soccer team, winning the 4A region tournament and making it as far as possible in the state tournament, the Titans are going to have to learn from each and every mistake they make during practice and games.
“When we do good things and when we do bad things we will have a session to go over everything so we can all be on the same page,” Sasivarevic said.
Sasivarevic says as long as the team stays healthy and is prepared for the challenging season, they will continue to improve and succeed every day.
“In all three preseason games that we had we played better and better,” Sasivarevic said. “If we keep this up I think our goals are definitely attainable. I think we can do it.”
The Titans play their final home game on Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. against Cyprus High School. Olympus High is located at 4055 S. 2300 East in Holladay.