Looking Back And Looking Forward: Girls Soccer

“Winning back-to-back CIF championships was a huge accomplishment because it’s never been before.”

In back-to-back years, the varsity girls soccer team has taken home a CIF division title. This season, the Bobcats dominated the Avocado East division with a record of 7-0-1, earning them a spot in the playoffs. 

Although their season ended after losing in the CIF Division II semifinals to West High School, to understand their journey, you have to start at the beginning. 

Members of the team pose with their CIF championship banner. The team won back-to-back division titles in 2020 and 2021.

Madison McClean is in her fifth year teaching at Sage Creek. McLean’s experience playing soccer motivated her to begin coaching at Sage Creek 

“I grew up playing soccer,” McLean said. “Unfortunately I had a few injuries that held me back from doing everything I wanted and I knew I wanted to be back on the field in some capacity. I knew I wanted to get into coaching when I got to Sage, it was just a matter of when that job opened up.”

McLean took on the role of coach of the varsity girls soccer team in 2020. Her experience coaching during the 2020 season helped the team reach new heights this season.

“Last year was my first year coaching varsity for Sage,” McLean said. “I found so much success last year in letting the girls have fun and reminding them why they love the sport and the joys of being on a team and working for each other so that success from last year [led to] the success of this season.”

Senior Brooklyn Gold described the significance of winning consecutive CIF division titles. 

“Winning back-to-back CIF championships was a huge accomplishment because it’s never been before,” Gold said. “Also this year we were seen as underdogs and it felt nice to prove everyone wrong.” 

Junior Samantha Bickerstaff won the Avocado League’s highest honor the player of the year award during the 2021 season. Bickerstaff and the team fell short in playoffs, losing to West High School.

Junior and Avocado League player of the year Samantha Bickerstaff shared her perspective on the soccer team’s rapid ascent to CIF Division I. 

“My freshmen year we were playing Division III,” Bickerstaff said. “Moving up to Division I is kind of crazy and I’m really excited to see how we can compete. “

Despite losing in the semifinals, McLean maintained a positive outlook on this season. 

“The mood after losing in the state semifinal match was heavy,” McLean said. “We huddled as a team together right after we lost and we just started sharing our favorite memories about the season and everything we accomplished.” 

“There were tears and laughter and it was an all-around wholesome experience to see this group of girls, this team that we’ll never have again, just accomplished such a big feat.”