Girls Soccer Team Adjusts to losing senior players


Brook Wenande

BSM alum Ava Wagener during the 2021 state semi final game.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s girls soccer team lost 11 seniors last year, 10 of which were starters. With a record of 11-1-1 last year, this year’s BSM soccer team feels a lot of pressure to keep the reputation from years past.

All of the new girls bring their own unique talent to the team, but it takes more than talent to be successful at the varsity level. “We’ve had to shift more towards looking at fundamentals and looking at getting players to understand what varsity level expectations are…The locking in and being ready and having that competitive ‘we will not lose on our turf’ kind of edge. We’ve had to develop that far more than other seasons… Last year most of the girls had been on since freshman year or sophomore year, so we haven’t had a new team in three years,” Coach Callianne Olson said.

BSM girls had big shoes to fill losing seniors Maddy Shannan who now plays at the University of Minnesota, and Sydney Drees who now plays at Creighton. Students speculate if the girl’s team will be any good this year. “Everyone assumed that we were going to be really, really bad. It’s obviously a learning curve. That said, what people don’t realize is that the people that sat on the bench last year and our starters this year they could have been starters last year like the fact that guy Kiya Gilliand and or Abby Garvin or Kayla Smart, they came off the bench last year. That’s the core of our team,” Olson said.

Last year most of the girls had been on since freshman year or sophomore year, so we haven’t had a new team in three years.

— Olson

With all the young girls on the team, the upperclassmen had to become role models for them. “I feel like we’ve definitely done a really good job of just making sure everyone feels welcome by just making sure they all have rides everywhere and carpooling to most of the games and practices and all the team events to get to know each other,” Captain Abby Gravin said.

Returning varsity players, Kayla Smart and Abby Garvin lead a skilled defense. “We’ve got a strong defense, and we never really give up. We always keep trying. The girls don’t turn on each other. So there have been some very frustrating games. But we haven’t ever broken down as a team. We’ve stayed positive and we’ve tried to keep each other motivated, which as a coach is exactly what you want to see. Because the whole goal is to break down the other team and get them yelling at each other,” Olson said.