Sharks girls soccer senior tandem thankful for 12th-grade campaign 

0
1156

Co-captains Charli Clark and Samantha Rodgers say they ‘aren’t going down without a fight’

Malibu High girls soccer players Charli Clark and Samantha Rodgers had a few moments of reflection and thankfulness with the teammates before they ran onto the pitch at Malibu High School for their senior night match against Channel Islands on Jan. 31. 

The senior co-captains gave emotional pep talks to their fellow Sharks on the sideline. 

Clark, the team’s goalkeeper, told her teammates she was proud of them.

“All of them worked hard this year,” she recalled. “They made my senior year special. Tears started going down my face because I was so sad. It really hit me that this was my last game. This was the last time I would be with all these people playing.”

Rodgers, a midfielder, told her teammates she had a fun time lacing up her cleats with them and reflected on the impact her father, Chris Rodgers, had on her youth soccer years. 

“It was sad also,” she said. “My parents were there, and my dad is the person that pushed me to do sports. He took me to every soccer practice. I thanked him because I couldn’t have done it without him.” 

The Sharks closed their season with a loss on senior night and finished their 2023-24 campaign with a 3-14-1 record. However, the squad’s lone two seniors’ feelings about their teammates and being Malibu soccer players isn’t slightly dampened. 

Rodgers, 18, cherished her time wearing a Malibu jersey.

“The actual sport — playing soccer — is fun, but it was more about the people I was playing with,” she explained. “I got to know so many people and have so many friendships. High school soccer is also a commitment. Years from now, I’ll look back and be grateful that I played.” 

Clark, 17, described the Sharks as a tight-knit group. 

“When I look back in a few years, I’ll remember being part of such a fun family full of love and support,” she stated. “On Senior Night, everyone was sad. Sammy and I were sad to be leaving, but everyone was so supportive and so loving. It was such a nice goodbye. Everyone hoped to see us do well in whatever we do next.”

The 12th-graders noted that Malibu’s best games of the season were their 3-2 victory over Beacon Hill on Nov. 16 and their 6-2 dominance of Nordhoff on Dec. 15. 

Clark said the Sharks were “together as a whole” in the win over the Rangers. 

“It gave us all a boost of confidence,” she said. 

Clark added that sophomore Ava Niccol made a beautiful pass to her classmate Carmen Brunel that resulted in one of the Sharks’ scores that game.

“It was so amazing to see,” Clark remembered. Her personal highlights, Clark noted, are several dive saves she made.

Malibu played as a team to beat Beacon Hill, said Rodgers. 

“We all communicated well,” she said. “Even if we are losing, it’s not going to be easy. We aren’t going down without a fight.” 

Rodgers said Clark is a vocal leader. 

“She is a teammate on and off the field,” Rodgers said, noting how Clark, a center-back in previous high school seasons, moved to goalkeeper this year because the Sharks didn’t have one. “She stepped up. That is a big thing to do for the team.” 

Clark said Rodgers has a fun vibe.

“She is a great team player,” she said. “She is willing to put in the work. She is so much fun to play with.”