Expectations High For Inderkum Girls Soccer Team


Inderkum head coach Steven Freitas and the Lady Tigers soccer team during halftime at Sheldon.

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Winning has become the norm over the last three seasons for the Inderkum High School girls soccer team.

Inderkum (8-4-3 overall, 2-0-1 TCC) has 11 seniors, six of whom are four-year varsity players this season.

The talent and experience has given first-year head coach Steven Freitas enough confidence to tout the team’s potential.

“The ultimate end goal is to play in a section championship and win it,” Freitas said.

Freitas has confidence in the team, but the former assistant coach at St. Francis High School also understands smaller steps are needed to reach the mountain top.

“We have to get there and we have got to get a playoff win,” he said.

The Lady Tigers finished the Tri-County Conference in 2012 with a 9-0-1 record and a No. 1 seed in the section playoffs. Despite the top billing, Inderkum lost in the second round to Antelope, 3-0, and were ousted early from the playoffs.

Senior Danielle McCarthy is excited about the possibilities for the 2013 season and what a young, energetic coach brings to the program.

“I think he is a super great coach,” McCarthy said. “And I was very excited for this season for two reasons. A, because it is my senior year and, B, because I think he is such an awesome coach.”

McCarthy, who will play at Menlo College in the Bay Area on a soccer scholarship following this season, leads Inderkum with 18 goals (tied for second in the section).

Freitas and McCarthy believe her quickness and determination are the key ingredients for the senior’s scoring surge this season.

“She is probably one of the fastest kids on the pitch,” Freitas said. “… she wants to go get the ball. You put speed and pure determination (together); you are going to find yourself in a good chance to score goals.”

Added McCarthy, “I have a lot of heart for the game and I am really aggressive. I feel speed is a definite benefit of mine.”

But a great scoring forward cannot become successful without players who assist and set them up.

Senior Ivarie Bourrage leads Inderkum with nine assists and fellow senior Isabella Ochoa ( five goals), junior Hailey Maxwell (seven assists, four goals) and senior goalie Cierra Quintana (1.41 goals against) round out a formidable combination which has been battle tested and winning.

Freitas put together a tough non-league schedule this season to get the team ready for goal number one: winning in the playoffs. Freitas added his former team, St. Francis (which has nine Division I section titles since 2000) along with St. Mary’s High School of Stockton, Will C. Wood High School of Vacaville and Sheldon High School, a game that finished in a 1-1 tie on April 4.

All four of those programs are top Division I schools in the section.

McCarthy scored the lone goal for Inderkum in the first half last week before Sheldon tied it up in the second. McCarthy’s goal was set up by a great assist from Megan Reali.

“I played the DI’s because they needed to see what’s out there,” Freitas said of the team’s tough non-league schedule

“One thing I know about soccer is the higher you go the more physical and the faster it gets,” he said. “You can see that in our first couple of games. We struggled with the speed of play and with the toughness. Now we are setting the tempo.”

McCarthy agrees playing tougher opponents is setting the team up for the last month of league play and what playoffs could present the Lady Tigers next month.

“It’s a really competitive preseason that we really never had before,” McCarthy said. “So it has been beneficial to better ourselves.”

Inderkum sits atop the TCC standings and will play at Pioneer High School on Monday before a road match with Natomas High School 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Follow Trevor Horn on Twitter @trevhorn or reach him at [email protected].

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