The Redondo Union girls’ soccer team heads into the final matches of the South Torrance Holiday Tournament on a roll after picking up another victory this week, beating South Torrance at home 4-1 last Monday in nonleague action. It was the sixth win of the season for the Sea Hawks, who remain unbeaten.
Sophie Crouts, senior, led Redondo Union with two goals. Ava Watson and Megan Sweeney also scored.
“Our whole team was really focused the entire game on getting the result we were looking for,” Crouts said. “A main focus for us was staying disciplined on defense and keeping the work rate up the entire game to not allow South Torrance to come back and I think everyone took this to heart and really worked hard until the final whistle.”
It was all Redondo Union in the first half with a 3-0 advantage and the second half still to play.
“Chemistry this year is great, especially since we have 14 returners this year; it’s easily seen on the field because the team is super good at moving the ball and attacking and defending as a single unit,” said Redondo Union’s Elle Marine, who is a junior. “The players are already super tight and we’re all excited to get even closer during the season.”
The team played well against South Torrance, which is 3-3 overall and is coached by Elizabeth Kitsios.
“We were connecting and reading each other really well off the ball and finishing our opportunities,” Crouts said. “I think we’ll build off this game and just keep improving as we move into league.”
It is a great start for the Sea Hawks, who won more than 20 games last year and have had plenty of regular season success in recent years and a number of star players. Now if they can do the same in the playoffs, it would make them one of the more dominant programs in the area.
Redondo Union is currently 6-0-1.
“I love this team,” said Redondo Union head coach Shelly Marsden. “They sing before games, they care about one another, and they enjoy playing together. They are so supportive of each other and also really want to win together. It’s going to be a really fun season."
Redondo Union resumed play in the South Torrance Holiday Tournament today against West Torrance in the quarterfinals. They will also play on December 23.
Marsden spoke about her team more in-depth.
“We have a pretty experienced roster this year as we have 15 returners who regularly played last year.”
She started with the defense.
“Our defense is solid and led by our center backs Elle Marine and Shayna Stock who are athletic, technical and play with a lot of heart. Senior defender Gabi De La Cruz can play any position in the back and gives us a lot of attacking runs.”
Behind her defenders are the goalies, Marsden has two that play.
“Our two goalkeepers Shayla Cota and McKenna Morey are fearless.”
She has a Division 1 player in the midfield and two big contributors at forward.
“Ava Watson and Long Beach State bound senior Celine Gehrig anchor the midfield while Sophie Crouts and Carolyn Koutures are the power of our attack,” said the coach.
She also mentioned some new talent that could make a name for themselves this season.
“We have a few newcomers who look to contribute this season in Megan Sweeney, Eissa Quinones, Malia DeCastro and freshman phenom Nicole Alonso.”
The team has lofty goals.
“Our eyes are on CIF and Bay League champions, and I believe we have it in us,” Gehrig said. “The only way we will make it, is to stay connected as sisters and really take it one game at a time. It can get overwhelming juggling school and soccer and looking too far in the future can add on to the stress.”
She added, “We focus on what we can do in the moment. Our main goals are to grow as young women, as teammates and as friends and kill it this season.”
They will start Bay League play on January 7 at Leuzinger and will have their first league home match against Centennial on January 10 at 3 p.m.
Redondo Union will play rival Mira Costa on January 21 and February 5. The first contest is at Mira Costa and both contests are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Mira Costa is off to a 7-0 start so it could be for the league title this year on February 5.