The Lady Wolverines soccer team has made at least the Sweet 16 of the Class AAAAA or AAAA playoffs for the previous six seasons.
Head coach Cody Guined does not talk a lot about the tradition, but his players know what the goal for the team is.
“Getting past the Elite Eight is always our goal,” Guined said. “We are always working toward that goal.”
Union Grove (14-1-1) is ranked as the No. 6 team in the most recent Eurosportsscoreboard.com Class AAAA rankings.
The lone loss came April 20 to region rival McIntosh. Guined said the loss may have been a good thing for the team.
“It showed us what we need to work on, and now if we can come out and make the adjustments, we can be better for it,” he said. “We always want to keep improving.”
Guined said he opened the season with high expectations because of the amount of returning players to the squad from last season’s team.
He said the upperclassmen have met his expectations and the underclassmen have exceeded them.
“We knew we had a group of players who were good, but it has been surprising how much improvement they have shown from last season,” Guined said. “And the freshmen and sophomores have shown us drive, passion and enthusiasm this season.”
The Lady Wolverines may be the No. 6 team in the state, but ahead of them in the rankings are three of teams from last season’s Final Four, including two region opponents.
No. 1 Whitewater and defending state champion No. 2 McIntosh sit atop the rankings poised to repeat the championship game of last season.
Guined said getting out of the region will be a tough task, and the road does not get any easier after that.
“Getting out of our region is brutal and then depending upon which part of the bracket you are in, it can still be tough,” he said. “Some parts have multiple teams in the Top-10 and there will be some disappointed top-ranked teams in those parts of the bracket.”
Guined said none of these facts matter to his seniors.
“Their goal during their freshmen season was to work toward a state championship,” Guined said. “Their No. 1 motivation is this is their last shot in their senior years.”