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Girls’ Soccer beats Central Catholic 1-0 in MIAA Division 1 Tournament

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WA Girls Soccer celebrates their victory, holding a MIAA Division 1 trophy proudly.

WA Girls Soccer celebrates their victory, holding a MIAA Division 1 trophy proudly.

Anthony Cammalleri

Anthony Cammalleri

WA Girls Soccer celebrates their victory, holding a MIAA Division 1 trophy proudly.

Anthony Cammalleri, Co-Managing Editor

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WA Girls’ Soccer defeated Central Catholic 1-0 today at Woburn High School. For Central, this marks an end to their forty-five game win streak, while, for the Grey Ghosts, the victory brings the girls closer to leading the 2017 MIAA Massachusetts Girls Fall Soccer State Tournament title; an achievement unattained since 1999.

At noon, Grey Ghost fans gathered in Woburn high’s bleachers amid sub-freezing temperatures to cheer on their teammates. Before the game had even begun, used hand warmers and styrofoam coffee cups lay littered across the track while crowd members conversed with blankets wrapped around their bodies and scarves over their faces. Team players from both WA and Central Catholic; however, ran around the turf dribbling and passing as if they were imperious to the cold. With spirits rising, the cheers “Go WAGS!” and “Go white!” could be heard from both sides of the turf.

Minutes before the game, Head Coach Tracy Capone stood on the side of the turf watching her players warm up. She was not able to predict whether WA would win or lose, but was able to make only one prediction: regardless of whoever might win, it would be a close game.

“We know it’s gonna be a great matchup, so we’re looking forward to a great game. I don’t think it’s going to be lopsided either way. I think it’s going to be a one, maybe two goal difference. Hopefully it’s in our favor,” Capone said.

Capone’s prophecy was fulfilled as the match’s first half carried on with a 0-0 score. There were many close calls, however, including a missed shot by Senior Captain Hanna Kruger in the first ten minutes of the game, as well as two saves from Goal Keeper Emma O’Sullivan. Vocal drum rolls rang out from the bleachers, only to die in silence as the ball either was saved, intercepted, or missed the net. By half time, no one had scored, and the Grey Ghosts went inside to warm up.

Minutes later, fans cheered “WA all the way!” as the girls ran back onto the turf, and the game’s second half began. It was anyone’s game at that point, and both teams played, both defensively and offensively, with aggression and excitement. In the first ten minutes of the second half, O’Sullivan made another save. Approximately eight minutes later, Striker Katherine Pawlak shoots a passed corner kick upon heavy defense, changing the tide of the match.

Intensity oozed out of every corner of the game’s last ten minutes. The Grey Ghosts, unwilling to go into overtime by abandoning their close-by victory, played defensively; sprinting after every stray ball, and intentionally kicking it out of bounds when needed. Central, on the other hand, assumed a full-on offensive strategy, attacking the WA net at every chance they had.

With five minutes left on the clock, O’sullivan saved two consecutive balls before a third, final shot on the WA net hit the crossbar. The final whistle blew at 1:37 P.M, and the Grey Ghosts rushed to the center of the field, passionately hugging and congratulating one another.

“I just really didn’t want to go into overtime. Not much was really going through my head, I just reacted, but when they hit the crossbar my heart just stopped. If they had made the shot, I probably would have died a bit inside,” O’sullivan said.

Posing for photos with their District One MIAA trophy, team captains Hanna Kruger and Rebecca D’Anna stood side-by-side with O’Sullivan.

“We’re excited. It’s just been such a long time coming and we were hoping we would make it this far, and just to actually be able to do it and be here is amazing,” Kruger said.

Tracy Capone, proud of her team, and excited for the win, commented on her satisfaction with the Grey Ghosts’ performance.

“We knew coming in that they were good, so we came up with a good game plan, and the girls executed that game plan […] I am super proud of these girls. These seniors have been waiting for this for three years and they really led the team,” Capone said.

 

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Girls’ Soccer beats Central Catholic 1-0 in MIAA Division 1 Tournament