When soccer came to Thacher in 1922, the boys used to ride their horses out to the dusty gymkhana field, tie their horses up, play a match, and return to the stables; on a good day, they might bag a quail along the way. These days, boys head for practices and games on foot and compete on grassy fields overlooking the Ojai Valley, and the only shooting is at the goals. Soccer is still a favorite sport for students, though; Thacher regularly fields varsity, JV, and third teams. From students looking to take on a completely new challenge to those who are ready to be key players on the varsity team, the program has something for everyone.
When soccer became a winter sport in 2002, the varsity team embraced the opportunity to compete in the CIF playoffs, going all the way to the finals. In most seasons since then, the Toads have qualified for the post-season, often ranked among the top-ten teams in the Southern Section. Recent grads have gone on to play at schools like Amherst, Claremont-McKenna, Stanford, and Williams, while others have played on excellent club teams like USC and Pepperdine. While winning records and impressive playoff runs are exciting, the focus of the program is the same as it was when it began more than eight decades ago—creating tight knit teams of students who support each other and have the tenacity and mental toughness to overcome any challenge.