Trinity Classical Academy girls’ soccer ended a one-year hiatus this season as the program returned to the school.
The Knights have since started the 2023-24 season 6-0, with a staggering 46-8 goal differential.
Trinity head coach Rebecca Wassif had her team ready to shine to start the season.
“They are such a good team together,” Wassif said. “The chemistry between them is fantastic. I expect them to be able to learn and grow this season. They’ll be able to grow and be better for that next hard game. They really do work hard together.”
The Knights’ undefeated run ended in their seventh game, when they faced off with a talented Palmdale Aerospace Academy Griffins team, which ranks among the CIF Southern Section’s Top 10 Division 6 teams.
According to Wassif, there wasn’t enough interest in the school to have a team last season. Back in the 2021-22 season, Trinity had just enough players for a team on paper, but struggled throughout the season to field the team.
Coming into this season, which started in late November, Wassif didn’t know if Trinity would have a team until October. Players who were interested in playing recruited girls throughout the Knights’ campus and were able to bring Trinity’s roster total to 15 girls’ soccer players.
Wassif started practicing with the team in early November and had her work cut out for her. The coach led the team, which features at least eight players who have never played soccer before, into the season with the expectation of simply growing and having fun.
Trinity rosters no juniors and just three seniors, all of whom played three years ago as freshmen, for the last full girls’ soccer season.
The girls clearly grew a lot in their short few weeks before the season and were ready for varsity soccer.
Trinity opened up the season with a 6-0 win over Heritage League opponent Valley Torah.
The team lost one player to injury for the season in the season opener, but spirits remained high from all 15 players.
“We started with 15 girls, but one broke her foot in the first game,” Wassif said. “She wanted nothing more than to get back on the field. That means the girls are doing something right.”
Wassif entered the team’s second game, a league matchup with Desert Christian, uncertain of what would happen. The coach approaches each game believing it’ll be the team’s toughest outing yet. To the coach’s surprise, Trinity rattled Desert Christian, 11-2.
“Being a newer team, we go into every game thinking it’s gonna be the toughest game,” Wassif said. “No team is an easy beat. You gotta go all in every game and they do. Seeing them put it out there every game is the most surprising part. They keep putting it out there and they deserve their wins.”
The program is back and stronger than ever thanks to some sensational play on the field.
Sophomore striker Isabel Swanson leads the team with 17 goals. Sophomore Noelle Carrol has netted nine, while freshman Abigail Carrilo has scored eight this season.
Senior captain Sarah Dever has also played well in between the posts and has held opponents to one goal or less in three matches.
According to Wassif, Swanson did a ton of the heavy lifting with bringing girls into the program while Dever has led the way in planting the seeds for a love of soccer within each player.
Wassif’s only expectation and goal for this season was for the girls to grow their love for soccer so that the program can be a staple at Trinity.
“Our expectation was for the girls to genuinely enjoy the sport,” Wassif said. “If you enjoy it, you’ll want to learn and grow in it, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Being a small, academic school, I want them to want to come back so we can keep growing the team.”
The program has the potential of blossoming in the near and distant future. Last year, the school fielded its first-ever junior high team that had a fantastic season. Trinity’s grammar school, which includes third through sixth graders, had just six girls playing soccer in 2021. This year the grammar team features 29 players, showcasing the soccer growth on the Knights’ campus.
The Knights will continue their season on the road on Tuesday for a second Heritage League matchup with Desert Christian at 3:15 p.m.