Women’s Soccer Wins State Championship – Pre-Game Interview with Coach Hirsch

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Ethan Rezer, Sports Co-Editor '23

I just wanted to start off by saying congratulations to the Nighthawk soccer team! Our outstanding women’s soccer won the OHSAA State Championship game 1-0 against Ottawa-Glandorf High School located in Ottawa, Ohio. Elizabeth Zimmerman ’24 scored the winning goal while goalie CJ DeBra ’23 had six saves.

Our women’s soccer team had previously gone to the state championship five times within the last seven years, winning in 2018 and 2019. Departing seniors Sami Hess, CJ DeBra, Alexia Lander-Vegas, and Sydney Bortz will be missed, but we are all confident that the team’s success will continue far into the future.

This interview took place before the Nighthawks returned to the Women’s Soccer State Championship game. I talked with longtime soccer coach and Head of the Middle School, Coach Hirsch, to review the season and the success of the program in the past several years.

Interviewer: What’s your thought process going back to state with the team for the fifth time in seven years? How are you feeling?

Coach Hirsch: Couldn’t be more excited for the 2022 team. Every year is different – and people forget that there were 28 other years in my career where we didn’t make it. It never gets old! This is the goal when you start the season to play for a championship – some years things work out, and other times it doesn’t. The excitement is the same – nothing better for our community.

Interviewer: In your opinion, what sets this 2022 team apart from the other state championship competitors you’ve coached?

Coach Hirsch: This team has improved more from August to November than any team I’ve coached. We needed the regular season to figure out what worked for us – we adjusted and changed. We dealt with injuries, and different players stepped up with their best soccer in the tournament. It takes a TEAM – and not a group of individuals. This team really gets that TEAM comes before I.

Interviewer: How has the prior postseason experience, both in the coaching staff and on the roster itself, contributed to your success this season?

Coach Hirsch: The coaching staff made a pact together to work harder than we have ever worked in past years. I have the best assistant coaches – Mr. Brandt, Ms. Woods, and Ms. Robinson.