Sukiana Miftah wasn’t too confident about the prospects for Poly High’s girls’ soccer team heading into the 2010 season. So far, the Engineers have exceeded Miftah’s expectations.
Poly is closing on the Baltimore City league championship. The Engineers took a break from its league schedule Monday, posting an 11-0 decision over Woodlawn.
“Last year, we lost a lot of people and we were worried that we weren’t going to do well,” said Miftah, a senior midfielder. “This is the best team we’ve had.”
The Engineers (8-1 overall) are unbeaten in City league competition (4-0) with games remaining with Digital Harbor, W.E.B. DuBois, Western and Patterson. Poly has outscored its league foes, 47-2.
Miftah, Eva Koliofotis, Zoe Krulak-Palmer, Emma Dobry, Imani Stokes, Precious Watts, Grace Kearney and Dymond Jackson returned this season, but the Engineers have been sparked by a strong freshman class including the starting defensive unit of Juliet Bishop, Dara and Jessa Wais.
“It’s a new team, we’ve been learning to work together,” said Koliofotis. “It’s been surprising we’re doing so well, but we’ve clicked.
We have people that have played soccer before, it’s not their first time touching the ball which is nice,” added Koliofotis. “They’ve played club or rec or some kind of background to add to the team.”
Koliofotis, a senior forward, leads the Engineers with a city-league leading 25 goals. Koliofotis, who had 31 tallies last fall, had six goals against Woodlawn Monday. Dara Wais, Miftah, Krulak-Palmer also scored Monday for Poly with Koliofotis, Krulak-Palmer, Nyle Tyson and Watts providing an assist.
The pieces falling into place for the Engineers can be traced directly to coach Josh Headley. The players say Headley makes sure the Engineers maintain a high level, on and off the field.
“He expects us to play our best every game,” said Miftah.
“A girl had her cleats on and walked through the gym, and we all ran most of the practice,” said Koliofotis. “If someone’s caught doing something bad in school, we all get punished for it, and we learned from it.”
Poly’s hoping the lessons on the field will produce results in the postseason. The Engineers lost to Loch Raven in the Class 2A North Region semifinals last season.
“Right now our focus is making at least to the second round of states,” said Koliofotis. “This is our best team and this might be our chance.”
CLICK RELATED VIDEOS TAB FOR INTERVIEW