Cedar Hill Girls Soccer Off to Best Start In Years

Cedar Hill girls soccer team
The Cedar Hill High School Girls Soccer Team celebrates a goal during a 2-0 win at Brewer last Friday. Photo by Michael Sudhalter

Cedar Hill Girls Soccer Team Have Big GOALS

In the sports world four years can seem like an eternity.

And while it wasn’t that long ago that the Cedar Hill Longhorns girls soccer team reached the postseason, several members of the team weren’t even in high school yet.

Though the playoffs are still quite a bit away, the best start in five seasons has coach Jodi Calloway and her players believing they can get there for the first time since 2017 – which was also Calloway’s first at the helm.

Through the first couple of weeks of the season, the Longhorns had a record of 5-1-1.

The Longhorns returned 10 varsity players from last season, and the struggles of recent seasons have been a growing experience for the squad.

CHISD girls soccer
Photo by Michael Sudhalter

“Last year helped us develop mental strength, determination, and resilience. We laid a great moral foundation that is still functioning today,” she said. “The players know the expectations, and they work hard every day to improve.”

Calloway knows a thing or two about improving and enjoying the subsequent success. She was a high school All-American, later going on to play in college at the NCAA Division I level at LSU.

She said some changes in the offseason have helped the team in its start this season.

“We have been focusing a lot more on attacking this year. Every practice we work on our shooting and finishing,” she said. “We have a strong attacking unit, so we want to make sure these girls are staying in an attacking mindset. This has helped us get results in the games.”

Team’s Greatest Strength

Kaylee Slider kicks soccer ball
Cedar Hill sophomore Kaylee Slider has scored six goals through seven matches this season. Photo by Michael Sudhalter

She said her team’s greatest strength is its tactical discipline and ability to attack.

“We have some shooters that are dangerous in front of the goal, and we remain organized on the attack and defense,” Calloway said.

The roster breaks down into four seniors, five juniors, six sophomores and four freshmen, so along with experience is plenty of youth.

Standout players include sophomore attacking midfielder Kaylee Slider, whom Calloway describes as “Competitive, technically sound, very skilled, great shot on goal. Will create opportunities for herself to score goals.”

One of the team leaders with experience – and a team captain – is senior center back Kendall Robertson, about whom Calloway said, “Intelligent, fast. Will be able to clean up a lot of errors on the back line and lead vocally.”

Like other teams, the Longhorns are competing in a season surrounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Calloway said the best word to describe such a scenario is “unpredictable.”

“You never know what could happen, but staying positive and prepared is key,” she said.

Through it all, she is very optimistic about her team’s postseason chances, though the season is young.

“If we can stay healthy, we have a chance of making it,” she said enthusiastically.
“We are very excited about the season and the way we’ve started. The players are getting a chance to reap the benefits of the hard work they’ve been putting in over the years. They are all hungry to go out and make a statement this season.”

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters