Team of the Week: Rider Lady Raiders Soccer - February 13, 2018

       The Rider Lady Raiders soccer team is leading the way in District 5-5A with a 5-0 record, and the hopes of finishing unbeaten in district play.

So, what makes a successful soccer team?

"Got to have some talent, got to be able to work hard. We try to work harder than anybody else, but the togetherness, the way this team has come together personality wise and commitment wise to each other," Head Coach Carl Wiersema said. "They don't want to let each other down. So, it pushes them to the next level and because of that we keep getting better."

"I really think that everyone has to connect on more than just a physical level, we all just need to get along really good and have a really good chemistry on the field," Defender Maddi Kyle said. "And we have to come out here every single day and work really hard and really just try to do what's best for each other."

All of those things have allowed the Lady Raiders to go undefeated through the first five games of district play. 

"It puts us in a good position. Our ultimate goal is to win district and go to the playoffs with some momentum," Wiersema said. "And fortunately this year, we've been able to put ourselves in a good position. We battled through some injuries."

Like, Kyle, who suffered a sprained ankle early in the season this is her Friday night scoring her first district goal of the season.

"It was my first district game to get to play my full time and it felt so good to finally get a goal in district and it really is just a good feeling," Kyle said.

The Lady Raiders went on to defeat Denton Braswell 4-0, and with that, they take home team of the week honors.

"It's super exciting, I'm sure it gives us a lot of momentum and confidence going into our next games, especially since we're about to start the second half of district," Kyle said.

"So exciting. I think the girls have been playing hard and working hard, so it's a great reward for their progress so far," Wiersema said.

Now the Lady Raiders are looking to continue their progression throughout the second half of district play.

"I am loving every game and we've got seven district games left," Wiersema said. "So, we're already starting to count them down and it's going to be hard to turn this group loose because they are a special team." 

"Pretty much this whole team has been playing each other since before high school. We've known each other almost our whole lives," Kyle said. "We connect on and off the field and I think that really separates us from the rest."

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