The Burlingame girls soccer team lost 13 seniors from last year’s team to graduation, but that has not stopped them from having high expectations for this season.
Coach Phil DeRosa expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming season. “I’m seeing many good signs… We have a young team, but they are very coachable and focused,” DeRosa said. As a longtime coach for the panthers, DeRosa has seen many successful teams, but the youth and potential of this year’s squad really excites him. His main goals for this season are growing together as a team and working on communication.
Senior Sophia Bonk agreed with her coach, explaining that this year’s team is “very hardworking and competitive, and [is] willing to do whatever it takes to improve.”
Bonk is one of just four seniors on the varsity team, which is usually led by upperclassmen. It has been a shock to adjust to an almost entirely new starting roster, but the panthers have seen many positive things in their preseason games. DeRosa ensured that the team would face an especially tough preseason in order to prepare them for the season. After their 2-0 loss against Valley Christian, a powerhouse athletic school, DeRosa explained why he had scheduled such challenging games.
“Most teams we play will be very good, so I want to make sure we prepare the right way before our league games start,” DeRosa said.
The current Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division is extremely competitive, so the Panthers will have to battle for every win.
Although the team has an unusually low number of seniors, younger talent was added to bolster the roster. Four freshmen are competing for starting positions on varsity.
One of those freshmen is Juliana Pianim, who plays center back. “All of the upperclassmen are awesome, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to play with them,” Pianim shared.
Be sure to come out and support the Panthers as the season kicks off!