Waldorf’s Varsity Girls Soccer Team captured their second PSAA league win of the season with a hard fought 02-01 win against The Berkeley Carroll School of Brooklyn.
It was a crucial away-site win for Waldorf as the team picked up three valuable points to secure their sights on the PSAA playoffs for the second year in a row.
Coach LeSueur and Coach Kim started the game with the more conservative five defensive back game as they looked to analyze Berkeley Carroll – all in an attemtp to capitalize on any breakdowns by the other team in the first half.
“After a long bus ride on the ever-popular Long Island Expressway and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway,” said Coach LeSueur, “we needed to be mentally and physically sharp from the opening whistle. This has not been our strongest asset.”
The girls got energized quickly and took advantage in the opening 10 minutes of play. The young Berkeley goalkeeper mishandled the initial shot Waldorf took on goal. Paying attention was sophomore center midfielder Mikayla VerPault who pounced on the loose ball and tucked it into the net for a 01-00 lead. Later in the half, senior midfielder Katarina D’Ercole made an excellent through ball hit to junior frontrunner Sofia Trikas. The fullback for Berkeley tried to keep up with Trikas but just as it looked like they was going to catch her – Trikas pulled the ball back and tucked it inside to fellow junior Marianna Paone. Paone turned the ball to her right and quickly released a shot that beat the Berkeley goal keeper high over her head.
Playing for the first time this season on artificial turf, Waldorf needed to make many adjustments to their passing and shooting. The first half saw the Waldorf midfielders working extremely hard to keep control of the middle third of the game. Playing the best game of her career was junior midfielder Ajanai Miller Randolph who constantly won the battle in midfield and provided great through passes to Waldorf’s two strikers. Senior co-captain Katarina D’ Ercole was tenacious supporting the offensive line and then getting back defensively to track down any problems on the left flank. As usual, center midfielder VerPault played very strong and won 90% of the 50-50 challenges in the midfield. Freshman Skyla Davis was instrumental in using her skills and strength to keep the ball in the offensive half.
Waldorf’s defense was close to holding Berkeley Carroll scoreless but there was still 15 minutes to play and Berkeley Carroll was pushing forward to get a goal. Senior goalkeeper Isabella Fraim played excellently. After being awarded numerous corner kicks, Berkeley Carroll finally found the net when an on rushing BC player managed to redirect the ball into the Waldorf net, 02-01.
Much to Waldorf’s credit, Waldorf’s defense used brains and brawn to keep the opponent from getting the equalizer. Senior co-captain Carolyn Smalls played an exceptional game as the sweeper. She constantly used her speed and angles to eliminate any breakaways or power shots on Fraim. Senior right fullback Zoe Bousraou was effective shutting down the left wing. While on the opposite side, senior left-fullback Anne Flomenhaft was equally effective. Flomenhaft’s ability to strike a ball with either foot helped tremendously in the defensive third. Substitute freshman Nyatasha Jackowicz filled in extremely well at several defensive positions throughout this high pressured match. Waldorf’s most versatile player was once again Lexi VanZant who played as the second stopper with junior Jaclyn Proctor.
Up front, the junior class twin strikers of Sofia Trikas and Marianna Paone connected beautifully as they constantly battled and challenged for every ball. As the intensity increased, Coach LeSueur and Coach Kim gave them both a break and substituted freshman – Sofia Patino and Julia Gonzalez into the match to provide the team with quality minutes.
Photos courtesy of Virginia Paone.