The girls varsity team at Parkdale has been dominating the field this season with a record of 10-1. On Tuesday October 29th, 2019 the team made regional finals and won with a score of 2-1, crowning them as Regional Champions.
“These girls work hard. When I’m there they work hard, when I’m not there they work hard,” said Head coach and gym teacher Ms. Bethea. “They didn’t just wake up and become a strong team. They put that work in.”
While juggling their school work and their outside life, the team finds a way to practice everyday after school from 3 to 6pm, getting prepared and ready for their games. All of their hardwork and dedication Paid off in the long run.
Although, practicing nonstop helps the team in the field, it’s the bond between the girls that has made them into the strong team they are.
One of the team’s captains senior Alejandra Lainez described the team as family.
“We take it [soccer] more than just a sport/ game,” Lainez said “Our team is more than just a team, it’s family and there’s so many close bonds we have together, the way we treat each other and support each other is what makes us unique.”
The girls soccer team are one of the most successful teams in Parkdale, however they aren’t appreciated as much as the other teams. The truth is that women’s sports face great challenges to be treated as equal as male players. This is happening in all levels of sport, not just at Parkdale.
According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, male athletes get $179 million more in athletic scholarships each year than females do. Not only that, but according to United States women’s national soccer team they recieve $250,000 bonus payment for the World cup. While if the Men’s team would have lost they would get around the same amount as the women’s team who won.
Coach Ms. Bethea is also familiar with the struggles and inequality of being a woman in a sport’s world.
“I came from a background where I had a whole bunch of brothers and female sports were not viewed or respected in a way that male sports are,” she explained. “So it’s something that I learned at a young age to fight against that type of stigma just to maintain your level of respect that’s preserved and so I maintain that even in my youth and I do with them.”
Although inequality can be visible in the sports world, the team doesn’t let that bring them down. At the end of the day, soccer is something that they enjoy and love to do. The coaches [Ms. Bethea and Mr. Musa] play a big part on why the team is doing so well. They are the girl’s biggest supporters on and off the field.
“She’s[Coach Bethea] someone that you can talk to about anything in your life. Someone you can trust. She might have her moments, but we love her very much.” said Lainez
With the whole team working together and having a great winning record the team skipped the first round of playoffs and made it to Regional finals against Bladensburg. The regional final was played at Northwestern High School. A goal was scored by the panthers first half,The mustangs tie the game the second half, and the Panthers score another goal leading them to a victory win.
Lainez and the team has big hopes for the future this season.
“I want nothing but the best for the team,”Said Lainez. “We are all a strong family together and I hope it continues to be that way because once a panther always a panther. I love my team.”
The girls went on and made it to state quarter finals. The girls team ended the season playing against Montgomery Blair High School.