Port St. Joe girls soccer team’s strong season-opening helps them through current adversity

Local Sports

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB)– The Port St. Joe girls soccer team started the season 9-0.

“I think we were just ready to play, just especially because COVID and stuff, we were just excited… just ready to come out and show what we got,” Port St. Joe girls soccer player Madelyn Gortemoller said.

Its first loss didn’t come until late December and that was to Class 4A Wakulla. Although the Tiger Sharks’ win streak was snapped, the game still gave them confidence.

“I think it really means a lot to us that we come from a small town and a small school and we’re able to compete with the big teams and compete well, ” Port St. Joe girls soccer player Kristen Bouington said.

A second loss came for the team on the road against another larger school in North Bay Haven. The Tiger Sharks now sit at 10-2-1 after a tie with Freeport on Saturday. In that game, the team was missing several starters due to COVID-19 contact tracing or injuries.

However, Port St. Joe head coach Justin Gerlach aimed to use the game as a chance for the team to grow.

“It’s always an advantage to try and find the next person and see if they can’t step up to the challenge, ” Gerlach said.

The district tournament is now just a few weeks away, the Tiger Sharks hope to finish at least as runners up like they did last year, if not district champions. One thing the team will lean on is its strong fan base to keep them motivated through the playoffs.

“It just helps us play better, because we know we have people there for us, and we know that we have people that believe in us and have confidence in us,” Bouington said.

Port St. Joe will host Rutherford on Thursday night for their next matchup.

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