Currently ranked 6th in state, South men’s varsity soccer boasts a 7-0 record in conference and a 7-2 record overall, most notably after two shut out victories against North Medford and Willamette. With additional wins over South Medford, Roseburg, and Grants Pass, South is now ranked first in the Southwest Conference and is looking to enter the playoffs as one of the top seeds. South is well-known for having one of the most prestigious soccer programs in the state, with a 2-4 record in state championships and 26 league titles between 1976 and 2010.
“There is always a pressure to win, especially at home,” junior Colin Ensminger said. “We always get through it as a team, [but] the starters are under the most pressure. They are the ones deciding the direction the game will go.”
This year’s team has nine seniors on the roster, which is more than a third of the overall team. However, the future of the team is still heavily dependent upon the bench players who comprise the rest of the squad.
“We are all really close friends and a tight-knit team, but bench players are always trying to take the spots of the starters. That makes us better,” Ensminger said.
South has not made a state championship run in more than a decade.
“Right now, we’re doing our best in league and [trying to] get a good spot in the playoffs. We’re first right now and trying to keep that going,” Ensminger said.
South’s women’s soccer, on the other hand, came off to a rocky start after losing the first four games of their season, but made an impressive comeback with a win against Roseburg. Unfortunately, they followed that win with a loss to North Medford and a tie against Willamette. South women’s soccer has not won a state championship before and is in the process of revitalization.
“Everyone is super supportive of each other, but we are also very competitive and that helps us individually and as a team,” junior Allison Eggling said. “We have grown a lot since the beginning of the season and learned from our mistakes, which helps us make the improvements needed to win games.”
Even though the two teams are in different places, they are both looking to secure the future of their program and continue to improve their players.