By Alicia Dziak

The girls’ varsity soccer team started their season last week with 18 players. The team, consisting of five seniors, eight juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen, is coached by high school business teacher Eric Holler, who has coached soccer for SGI for 10 years, four of which at the varsity level.

In the months leading up to the season, girls were given an offseason workout program to do on their own, and many of them played for club teams.

This season, the Lady Griffs are in a different division than years past, and league opponents include Holland, Tonawanda, Alden, Eden, JFK and Lackawanna. Holler anticipates Holland to be their toughest competition; Holland’s team is under new leadership this year, as their long-time coach who took the team to the state championship a few years ago has passed the reins to last year’s JV coach.

According to Holler, the team’s “Number one goal is to win the division and if not win, be right there competing for it. Also, would like to improve upon last year’s playoffs and win two games in sectionals,” he said. Team strengths include returning ECIC all-stars Grace Zabawa and Jenasis Fisher.

To kick off the season, the JV and Varsity teams will be hosting the second annual Scrimmage Fest on Monday, Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Visiting teams will include: Pioneer, whose varsity squad went undefeated last year until the crossover game of sectional finals; Iroquois, who returns a very good lineup; and Allegany-Limestone, who won states in their class last year.

There will also be food available to anyone who is interested from novelty ice cream truck Just Chillin, 49 Coffee House and Eatery and House of Munch.

The JV team is coached by SES teacher Kerri Voit, and the modified team, who begins their season soon, is coached by high school counselor Chris Mathewson.

The girls start games next week as well, when the Varsity team travels to Holland for a game on Wednesday, Aug. 29 (the JV team hosts Tonawanda that day as Holland does not have a JV team this year), and both teams head to Alden on Friday, Aug. 31.