Soccer teams kick off 2021 season


Amanda Marvin

Senior Emily Riggle dribbles the ball towards the goal in a home game against the Marion Giants. Riggle and the Ladykats defeated the Giants 6-0.

Alex Bird, Reporter

The 2021 soccer seasons are off to a great start. The boys’ soccer team was undefeated through the first three games. Their first loss came Tuesday to the Harrison Raiders. The girls’ soccer team has a 2-2 record with wins against Oak Hill and Marion.

This year, the boys’ soccer team is hoping to build a team that can compete in every game according to senior Kieran Morrison.

This season, I want to be able to compete every game and make Kokomo High School a feared opponent. Another goal on my mind is to get a win against our county rivals. We have not been able to beat them these past couple years so getting the win against them would be big,” Morrison said. 

Head coach Aaron Blessing, who has been coaching at various levels for 25 years, agreed with Morrison’s season goals. One of Blessing’s primary focuses this season is getting the team organized to compete each day.

“I want the program to be a place where players want to not only grow in their understanding and love of the game, but also where players understand that each of them impacts our success on and off the field. We think we can be competitive in our county, area, conference, and sectional this year,” he said. 

The Kats’ take on West Lafayette in an away match on Tuesday.  The return to their home field on Thursday for a matchup with the Logansport Berries. 

The girls’ soccer is under new direction this season. Elizabeth Rayl took over the head coaching spot this season.

“I coach because I love giving back to the game that gave me so much. My closest friends are my past teammates and the game and my coaches taught me so much.  I have three young kids, and the Lady Kats Soccer team are amazing role models for them,” she said. 

Rayl is hoping to inspire the girls’ on the team to be great teammates.

“One of our goals is to grow together as a team.  I want the girls to be great teammates, work hard, and improve every game,” she said.

Senior Molly Dowden wants to be a strong leader for the younger members of the team.

Coming into high school soccer and playing at the varsity level can be challenging as a freshman or sophomore due to its high intensity games. I want to give them as many opportunities as possible to be successful during practice as well as during games and always make sure to cheer them on both on and off the field,” she said. “As a team, one of my goals for us is to always work together and grow as a whole. It is not important if we win every game, rather it is more important that we are always bettering ourselves and becoming a more successful team.”

The team travels to Lafayette Jeff on Tuesday. They return home on Tuesday, Sept. 7 to take on McCutcheon.