By Natalia Wiater ’16
In the interest of full disclosure, Natalia Wiater is on the girls’ soccer team.
The Lady Hornets have experienced a season they haven’t seen in a while: with a 5-4 record (and one tied game), a huge improvement compared to last three seasons. For the first time in three years, the team has made it to playoffs.
“I’ve had the privilege of observing and partaking in the team for the past three years, and I can honestly say that this is the hardest we’ve played and the best season we’ve had in a long time,” said Madina Malik ’16.
. After winning 2-0 against Lincoln (and then again 6-0) and 6-1 against New Utrecht, the team discovered their new secret weapon: Maya Mendonca ’16. Mendonca scored both goals against Lincoln, and provided four out of the six goals against New Utrecht, quickly becoming the team’s top goalscorer. Mendonca proved herself to be the player the team needed: she played defense, midfield, as a forward, and as a goalkeeper, stepping up whenever she was called for.
Now Lara Schuman ‘18 is tied with Mendonca for first place, both with eight goals under their belts.
The team has been practicing new techniques that, so far, have been benefited the team immensely. During the game against New Utrecht the Lady Hornets were allowed a penalty, but they didn’t take the normal shot on goal; Shamiwanah Walkes ’16 made a short pass to the left, and Schuman shot it straight
into the net, surprising the goalkeeper.
Corner kicks are also being redesigned; players are making more run ins towards the goal, and practicing tactics aimed at confusing the opposing team’s defense.
A fresh influx of new players also improved the starting line up, adding energy and power to the game, and making the defensive line stronger.
Although she wasn’t initially planning on having such a large team consisting of 26 girls, the coach, Ms. Lane, feels that she did the right thing.
“When you have talent in front of you, keep it,” she said.
The nine seniors are leaving their mark as well, and want to give their last season their all.
“Although I am heartbroken this is my last year as a lady hornet, as one of the captains of the team I can proudly say we exceeded our expectations this season along with creating unbreakable team chemistry amongst us,” Alexis Dibbs ’16 said.
However, there have been setbacks: Isabel Learis ’18 suffered a tear in her ACL during the game against Madison, and will be out for the rest of the season. Brigid Reilly ’17 almost tore a muscle in her thigh and will be out for two weeks as well. And not all games have been wins for the Lady Hornets. The girls lost 2-8 against Grand Street Campus, a team notorious for going into double digit scores.
The season is coming to an end, but the team is optimistic about finishing strong.
“This has been one of my favorite seasons yet; there’s chemistry and a good attitude between the girls,” Ms. Lane finished.