WAGS recap of the MIAA tournament

Srinithi Raj, Features Editor

The photo gallery of Friday’s game, where the Westford Academy Girls Soccer Team were victorious, 3-1, and advanced to the semi-finals.

Yesterday, Westford Academy played Brookline in the semifinals of the MIAA tournament for varsity girls’ soccer, and WA was ultimately defeated 2-1.

During the first half of the game, WA played with great energy; Sophomore Carley Davey scored a header within the first twenty minutes. The bleachers were filled and the crowd was exhilarated.

“The crowd was really behind the girls and there were lots of fans at the game. I know they appreciated the support and helped them stay motivated on the field,” Coach Andjus said.

Soon, however, Brookline managed to score its first goal after receiving a penalty kick. Brookline began to gain more energy and bolstered its defense.

“Once we gave up the penalty kick to Brookline and they scored, we had to defend a little harder as Brookline had gained the momentum,” Andjus said.

After the halftime break, WA built up its offense. Within the first fifteen minutes of the half, WA had numerous chances but missed the net by a small margin multiple times. As WA was almost about to secure its second goal, Brookline goalie and defense matched WA with clever saves.

After some back and forth action and numerous fouls on both sides, Brookline received a free-kick and was able to score its second goal with eighteen minutes left.

By the end of the half, WA did not qualify for the MIAA finals.

“The girls played very well. Brookline matched them well. Today I feel like the girls just got unlucky and got defeated,” Spectator Satheesh Manickavasagam said.

Although WA met with a loss, Andjus states how the soccer team overall had an accomplished season.

“Overall I think Brookline is one of the best teams we have played all year, but I thought we were just as good as them. It was a hard fought battle that doesn’t always go your way, especially during the playoffs. We’ve had an incredible year winning the DCL Championship and going 14-2-2 in the regular season.  Going to the Division 1 North semi-finals is a huge accomplishment as well,” Andjus said.

As for individual accomplishments, the captains of the team received numerous awards by the end of the season. Ally Giovino was awarded Division 1 North player of the year and an All-New England All Star, a feat only a few WA players have ever achieved. She was also named the MVP for the Dual County League a second year in a row. On top of these accolades she was also 1st Team Eastern Mass All Star and 1st Team All State All Star.

Senior Brooke Ditcham received the 1st Team DCL honors, 1st Team Eastern Mass All- Star, All State All Star, and All New England All Star awards. Finally, senior Bella Hillman was named 1st Team DCL All Star and 2nd Team Eastern Mass All Star.

As for others on the team, junior Dominique Paglia achieved the same awards Ditcham had. Sophomore Kiani Barnard-Pratt was named 1st team DCL All Star. In addition, Carly Davey, Isabel Doherty, Sydney Jones, and Ava Couillard all received 2nd team DCL honors.

Andjus hopes to have just as successful of a season next year.

“This year we will lose five seniors. While we will miss the goal scoring of Ally and Brooke, I think we have a lot of players who will be ready to step in to play the roles that seniors will leave behind. While we will look a little different next year, I think we have the potential to be just as  successful as we were this year,” Andjus said.