The Lewisville girls soccer team opened its 2021 campaign on a productive note, shutting out Denton Guyer on Jan. 8, 1-0. Less than 24 hours later, the program incurred its first in-season bout with COVID-19.
A positive test within the Lady Farmers and subsequent contact tracing has forced Lewisville to push pause on its early-season schedule. With numerous members of the program in quarantine, Lewisville had to bow out of a tournament in Bedford, which took place Thursday-Saturday.
“It was tough, but this group of girls is so special,” said Bridget Hernandez, Lewisville head coach. “We’re taking it one day at a time and I’ve been preaching that not just since the start of the season but back in April because of everything going on with the pandemic. You just have to live in the present moment and take it as it is.”
Hernandez said that she received the news on Jan. 9 after one of her players went to get checked out for issues that weren’t initially related to COVID-19. While there, the player was tested as a precaution. A positive result followed.
Unable to work out or practice in person, the Lady Farmers have had to call upon the habits established during the spring last year with an abundance of at-home workouts conducted via Zoom. Hernandez noted that the team is also making use of online platforms to review game film with the season already underway.
While sidelined, Lewisville had to cancel tournament matchups with Euless Trinity, Arlington and South Grand Prairie.
“We were ready to go into that tournament and take that tournament title, too,” Hernandez said. “We’re just playing with a lot of unity. A lot of my team is a big group of seniors and under their leadership, they’ve grown a lot these last four years. They just want to play. They enjoy playing for Lewisville and for each other.”
Hernandez has already seen that camaraderie rewarded with a season-opening shutout of a Guyer team that qualified for the playoffs in 2018 and 2019 and was on track to make it three years in a row before the 2020 season was cancelled. Lewisville overtook the Lady Wildcats on a goal from junior Nicole Solete that was assisted by senior Adamaris Manjarrez.
Those two earned all-district first-team honors last season and have shined in a leadership capacity in Hernandez’s first season at the helm.
“They’ve been standouts, as has (senior) Victoria Sibounheuang. It’s kind of hard to pinpoint, because we had a team meeting about this,” Hernandez said. “These girls are such leaders altogether — we had them vote for captains and there were so many names thrown out, including freshmen and juniors.”
Lewisville is looking to build off a 2020 campaign where it tied for fifth place in District 6-6A at 4-8-1. The Lady Farmers are scheduled to return to action at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday for a road outing against Little Elm before competing in a tournament in Duncanville on Thursday-Saturday. That will serve as the team’s final tune-up before its Jan. 26 district opener against Plano West.
“These girls are going to take this tournament like no other. It’s a tune-up for us as coaches, but these girls want to play,” Hernandez said. “We’re going to work until we can show up because of protocols, but it’s game day every time we meet up — whether it’s a workout or us focusing on the tactical side. I think they’ll show out very well and they’ll be very excited to get back on the field.”