By: Juliana Bird
The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at AHS acquired a unique new team mate who joined in the fall of 2014. Seventeen year-old Ragna Gjortz (known as Rags) flew from her hometown in Oslo, Norway to Arlington, Massachusetts, in August.
Deciding to try out for the Varsity Soccer team was a no brainer for Rags, considering her twelve years of experience. Rags said, “I just showed up… with my cleats.” Despite her little preparation, Coach Paul Austin was happy to be adding this new player to his roster.
Rags definitely came in with experience. She described her team back home as much older in age, focusing on “more technique and less fitness”. They traveled together to Barcelona and Madrid and although that sounds serious, they were “more low key and there was less intensity to win”. This, of course, doesn’t separate the teams in terms of skill. In fact, Rags was happily surprised to discover how good the AHS team is.
Rags’s situation is “Yes, unusual” says Austin, but she is also unique as a player. She stood out to Austin because her, “style of play is different: another dimension”. Specifically, he added, “ She plays off the ball and uses her body and always retains good spirits.”
The team and Rags have helped each other out throughout the season. Coach said that the team learns from her, and she learns from the team. He stated that she was, “well adjusted young lady who was easily able to blend in with the new social environment”. Rags agreed that it was easy to come onto the team and to the new school who welcomed her.
However, the team deserves much credit for that. They viewed Rags as someone who could help them as a team, not come in and steal their playing time. Coach said, “This showed extreme team comradery.” For that, Rags stated that she would like to “thank everyone on the team for welcoming her with open arms.”
Rags scored eight goals for the team this season. She has also scored two goals in the team’s first tournament game. The girls ended with an amazing record of 10 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties. The Girls Varsity Soccer team will be playing in the semi finals of tournament. Their first game is on November 13th.