Yamhill-Carlton Girls Varsity Soccer Succeeds Against All Odds


Lajla Raske

Last year’s soccer games looked much different than this year. In this photo from last school year, student Hannah Jolly kicks the ball in a game against Blanchet. This year, soccer students are required to wear masks while competing.

Piper Pellegrino, Sports Editor

Sports have been a bit different as schools navigate through COVID-19, with shortened seasons and new health guidelines and restrictions for playing. And it hasn’t been any easier for the Girls Varsity soccer team of Yamhill-Carlton High school. With almost an entirely new team of girls and a new coach behind them, YC had some accommodations to make for this intense season. 

“There was a period of adjustment as we were practically two teams combining and learning how the other plays between the returners and the newcomers,” says Allie Amerson, senior and midfielder. 

And she isn’t wrong. With five starting freshmen and a new goalkeeper, the team entered the season confident but a bit wary. But they found a way to make it work. 

“By like halfway through the season, I was baffled by the chemistry our team had discovered. Through all my high school years, I’ve never been a part of a team with a dynamic as welcoming and inclusive as ours, and I’m proud of that,” Amerson states. 

But despite the challenges, YC managed to succeed and claim a spot in State Playoffs. Yamhill pulled ahead in the middle of the season to secure their place as first in the league, shortly after falling down to second after a rough match against Dayton. Keeping their place in the top two, YC was able to find a great dynamic and learned to work well with each other. 

And leading them through this exciting season is their new coach, Katie Dolphin.

Katie Dolphin, soccer coach and professor at Pacific University, has been coaching soccer for ten years. Besides coaching, she works at Pacific University as an associate professor of kinesiology. She has always been very passionate about the sport. 

“Soccer is played with the brain. I love that soccer requires both the physical, but also mental aspects that other sports simply don’t have. It offers the best of both, particularly in the girl’s game,” says Dolphin. 

Besides being a fun interest, soccer is a great outlet for many people during hard times. Some may say it’s an “escape” from both personal or world problems, especially right now with COVID-19 and coming off of a rough year. 

I don’t have time to think about any of the issues going on for me outside of soccer while I’m playing or practicing, so it’s one of my greatest escapes from the real world,” claims Amerson.

COVID-19 has made sports especially difficult for many teams this past year, YC’s Girls Varsity soccer team being no exception. Even with additional challenges, YC had an exceptional season and managed to advance to State Playoffs.