RBHS girls’ soccer defeats Hickman High School in decisive victory, looks to build intensity for upcoming game


Julia Kim , Staff Writer

In their second-to-last home game for the season, the RBHS girls’ soccer team defeated the Hickman High School (HHS) Kewpies with a clean 2-0 victory Wednesday, May 4. The game marks the Anna Alioto Memorial, where the two schools play annually in honor of former Lady Bruin standout Anna Alioto who passed away in 2013. 

Senior Riley Richardson said playing HHS was definitely challenging because of pressure stemming from the cross-town rivalry, but the team’s chemistry, alongside their dedication to the sport, allowed RBHS to pull through and succeed. 

“There is always a lot of pressure around those games and they have the potential to go either way every year,” Richardson said. “I think that trying to make the most of every game and practice motivates us to play intensely every game. Rising above the nerves can be so difficult, but our team executed everything so well.”

With just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half, senior Kayla Junegermann took a few touches before passing it to senior Izzy Cole, who fired the team’s first goal into the net at the back post. But even after Cole’s opening goal, the Kewpies continued to close in on the Bruins’ offense with their defenders.

In addition, sophomore Madeline Malone said multiple changes to the varsity lineup leading up to the game challenged the team, but also strengthened their flexibility. Making adjustments mid-season required consistent leadership, communication and hard work on Malone’s part. 

“We play for each other and for ourselves with the goal to win,” Malone said. “Throughout this season, we have faced many injuries. However, this has given multiple players [the opportunity] to rise to the task and play awesomely.”

In the last 12 minutes of the game, senior Leah Jenne headed sophomore Kylar Serio’s corner kick home, giving RBHS their insurance goal and boosting team morale for the rest of the match.

We play for each other and for ourselves with the goal to win. Throughout this season, we have faced many injuries. However, this has given multiple players [the opportunity] to rise to the task and play awesomely. ”

— Madeline Malone, sophomore

Even with the season coming to a close, coach Scott Wittenborn said the team continues to make improvements, and he has learned more about himself as both the team’s coach and role model in the process. 

“The team has done a good job of trying to improve each day,” Wittenborn said. “We continue to try to find ways to vary our attacks and work on our spacing. Through coaching, especially this season, I’ve [also] learned a lot. I used to take the games so seriously that I’d lose sight of the role model I want to be. I’ve learned to try to see the bigger picture and of the real impact I can have on these girls and their experience playing soccer.”

Richardson said her love and enthusiasm for the sport has stayed with her throughout her high school career, and she hopes to showcase that in their last home game against Cor Jesu Academy Friday, May 6. 

“I’ve played soccer my whole life and I love everything about it,” Richardson said. “I love the team, the strategy and the athleticism that make the sport. Moving forward, we are going to rest up so we can be in good shape for Friday. It’s our last home game, and we are playing a highly ranked team, so hopefully we can take the intensity we had in this game towards Friday.”