Waldorf's Varsity Girls Soccer Team gave an excellent accounting of themselves in yesterday's PSAA league game against Staten Island Academy (SIA) but came out short. Despite showing tremendous improvement in all facets of the game and some personal bests, Waldorf fell to SIA 01-04.
"The score is in no way indicative of the actual flow of the play," said Coach LeSueur. "Waldorf scored first and it was one of the finest goals ever scored."
Waldorf's constant pressure on the SIA defense led to a corner kick with 10 minutes left to play in the first half. Junior striker Marianna Paone took the corner from the right side flag. All the Waldorf players timed their offensive runs as Paone's outstanding delivery came flying in. Making a terrific run to the far post, the air ball found junior defender Jaclyn Proctor and she rose up to head a magnificent header past the stunned SIA goal keeper. "This team has been working very hard to be more dynamic and courageous in the offensive third," said Lesueur, "and our hard work had been rewarded on that play."
Waldorf hoped to finish the first half with a 01-00 but with about 5-minutes left to play, Staten Island was awarded a free kick from about 25 yards out. The SIA player hit a terrific high shot that freshmen goal keeper Maria Golebiewski could not reach and the score resulted in both teams going in at the end of the first half with a 01-01 tie.
The spirit and determination of Waldorf continued throughout the second half as strikers Paone and senior Lexi Van Zant created a lot of space with outstanding runs off the ball. Sophomore offensive midfielder Mikayla Ver Pault controlled the center of the field, constantly winning the challenge and hit some quality through balls to the attack. Meanwhile, junior Ajanai Miller Randolph was very effective defending and adding to our offensive punch with her strong throw-ins, keeping the SIA defenders on their heels. Unfortunately, all the energy and opportunities could not be converted into a crucial second goal for Waldorf.
It was SIA who found the back of the net off a well taken corner kick with about 20 minutes left to play. The SIA attacker found space in Waldorf's defensive wall and volleyed the corner kick into the goal for a 02-01 SIA lead. In Waldorf's attempt to equalize the score, Coaches LeSueur and Kim changed the Waldorf formation and pushed some additional players forward. Said LeSueur, "We attempted to push VerPault further up front and have Proctor move into an attacking midfield role. We were pushing forward but it was the SIA players who broke this tight game wide open. SIA took some long range power kicks that were driven deep and high into the Waldorf goal."
Senior co-captain and sweeper back Carolyn Smalls ably assisted by senior defenders Zoe Bousraou, Anne Flomenhaft, Isabella Fraim, Sophia Trikas, and freshman Nyatasha Jackowicz held a strong defensive wall - but SIA found some gaps. Trikas and fellow midfielder and senior co-captain Katarina D'Ercole worked tirelessly at both ends of the field. Freshman Skyla Davis also played some valuable minutes when the wing halfbacks needed a breather.
"The team knows how far they have grown and we look forward to the future challenges as we battle to secure a playoff position," said LeSueur
The team's next game is Friday, October 12th when Waldorf hosts Portledge on Laszlo Jurak Athletic Field. The kick-off is at 4:30pm. Portledge is currently ahead of Waldorf in the PSAA standing on points. Waldorf will play Portledge twice within the next seven days as they hope to reverse the standings.
Photos courtesy of Virginia Paone.