Girls soccer implements winning formula on and off the field

Braden Osborn | Staff Writer

Head coach Andy Schur has used many methods, like messages on t-shirts with positive themes to help his players embrace a positive culture.

The Mason High School girls soccer team looks like a regular high school team to the outside observer. However, a closer look reveals they’re a lot more than a typical team. 

Head coach Andy Schur has been a major influence on the girl’s success this season. Schur said that his methods of coaching not only better his players on the field, but what he teaches carries on with them off the field too.

“We hope to help steer these ladies toward winning seasons,” Schur said. “Our ultimate goal is to help them grow on and off the field through the soccer program. I am hopeful that our influence helps them grow and mature during their time with the soccer program.”

The team’s stand out moment this season has been their come-from-behind win over Lakota West. In a battle between two of Ohio’s top ranked teams, Mason trailed by two at the half. Facing a large deficit to the defending state champion, Schur and his team could’ve let doubt or second guessing in, but that wasn’t the case for the Comets. In the second half Mason overcame the two-goal difference and shut out West, winning 3-2. 

“The girls had a different look in their eyes that night at halftime,” Schur said. “I am not sure if they knew something special was about to happen, but we could sense that we were at least going to make West very nervous.”

An instrumental part of what makes this team special is the spirit and culture that the girls show on and off the field. Junior Tori Hopton has been a key player for the girl’s success and was critical in the second half of Mason’s win over West. 

A three year varsity player, Hopton has developed a bond with her head coach. 

“I do not know where I would be without him,” Hopton said. “Schur has not only impacted me on the field but has impacted me off the field. He wants the best for you as an athlete, but most importantly as a person.”

The team’s passion is evident on the field, whether it’s a nail-biting finish or the waning moments of a blowout. Schur’s impact on his players is evident. Junior Rylee Curl said that Schur has had a huge impact on her growth as a player.

“Schur never fails to push me to be my best on and off the field,” Curl said. “Especially during quarantine he took a very difficult time and found a way to make it enjoyable by bringing all of us together even if it wasn’t face to face.”

Schur is not only a coach to the girls but he has molded himself into a mentor for them. There are many lessons in Schur’s coaching, and the girls have used soccer to apply these lessons to their daily lives.

“One thing Schur has taught me and is still to this day teaching me is nothing is perfect, mistakes are gonna happen but it’s how you react to those mistakes is what really matters.” Curl said. “He also talks about a positive attitude. Nothing bad can come from a positive attitude no matter the situation.”

This season has definitely been one for books for the girls. Not only defeating one of the top teams in the Greater Miami Conference but also learning how to continue to grow as people.

“Coach Schur always talks about ‘get the next play’. This means that if you make a mistake, get the next play, and don’t let the last play get in your head.” Hopton said. “This is really important as an athlete but also as a person. With this mentality that Schur has taught me, it helps me move on from the past whether that is on the field or off the field.”