La Cañada Ready for League

Photo courtesy Kristina Kalb
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ soccer team will open Rio Hondo League play at home against Temple City on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 3:30 p.m. The Spartans (7-3-1 overall record), guided by second-year head coach Kevin Neumeier, includes Carolina de Souza, Elizabeth Dick, Adena DiPaolo, Sophia Godinez, Sidney Hwang, Rucha Kadam, Minzie Kim, Chloe Kouyoumdjian, Hanna Kruglov, Mia LeClerc, Camille Lorenz, Cecily Lowe, Solenn Matuska, Samantha Mayer, Ashley Messier, Gianna Mor, Priya Patel, Kallie Rushing, Katharine Scoville and Charlotte Tapp.

The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ soccer team has been one of the most competitive programs in the area and known to compete in big local tournaments, including those scheduled during the winter break.
Kevin Neumeier made a few changes last year in his first season at the helm of the LCHS varsity girls’ soccer program, most notably giving his players two weeks off during the holidays.
“I guess I’m one of the few coaches who give the full two weeks off to the girls,” Neumeier said. “To me, I see it as an advantage. Most of these girls have been playing soccer at a high level since the summer with club. It allows them to spend time with family and enjoy themselves. The first week back may be rusty, but they’ll be ready to go by the third week. These girls have a lot going on with college applications and finals. They need the break, and I’m happy to give it to them.”
The move paid off last season as La Cañada captured the Rio Hondo League crown for the first time since 2014, and Neumeier expects a similar result in 2018.
“They’ll work hard, come back and pick up where they left off in league,” Neumeier said with confidence. “Our No. 1 goal was to repeat as league champions. That’s the goal we can achieve. Our other goal was to win the Duarte Tournament.”
La Cañada (7-3-1 overall record) already accomplished one feat in winning the Duarte Tournament crown, and the Spartans seem well on their way toward capturing a second consecutive league championship.
Neumeier has 10 returning starters, but the coach’s confidence comes from his experience-heavy roster, which includes eight seniors and three captains who earned their leadership roles.
“We’re really relying on our leadership and experience to get us through this preseason,” Neumeier said. “Once league starts, it’s going take the entire team, including the underclassmen. My main captains are Chloe Kouyoumdjian, Kallie Rushing and Mia LeClerc. I’ve never seen them work so hard, especially Mia. She’s taking control of the middle of the field and leading us offensively. They really have set the tone and it has rubbed off on the girls.”
The Spartans, ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, has been idle since defeating Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello, 9-0, on Dec. 21. The team will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 10, to host Temple City in the teams’ Rio Hondo League opener at 3:30 p.m.

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