WA Girls’ Soccer wins 1-0 against Weston

Anushka Patil, Co-Editor-in-Chief

WA Girls’ Soccer huddles together in pep-talk before game against Weston. (Anushka Patil)

With a score of 1-0, Westford Academy Varsity Girls’ Soccer defeated Weston this Friday, Sept. 17, at Weston High School, marking WA’s first win of the season.

Starting the game with intensity, WA dominated early with a strong offense, which kept the ball on Weston’s defensive side. Senior captain Isabel Doherty (#2) and Junior Isabella Balatka (#10) consistently worked together to maximize the offensive plays.

With senior captain Victoria Princi (#12), senior Tamar Almasian (#23), and sophomore Urvi Pai (#20) defending the mid-field line, senior captain Carly Davey (#22) and senior Grace Carroll (#3) were able to drive the ball down the field, allowing for multiple corner kicks and attempts at goal.

WA’s only goal was scored in this quarter, with Doherty out-running her competitors, giving her the ability to pass the ball to Almasian, who slid the ball past Weston’s goalie and into the net.

The second quarter began with stronger defense on the part of Weston, which prevented WA from having offensive attacks similar to those of the first quarter.

Weston made multiple attempts at net, even putting one past WA goalie Kiani Barnard-Pratt in a play that was later deemed an invalid goal. Barnard-Pratt and junior Olivia Dubay (#16) did a notable job of blocking out Weston from the goal box.

Despite Weston stepping up its offensive plays, WA still kept the ball in its own offensive zone for the majority of the second quarter. Notably, Davey created numerous scoring opportunities for WA as a strong forward.

Carroll and sophomore Abigail Baker (#8) made most of the attempts at goal in this quarter. Although strong plays were made in order to get WA in the position to score, most shots missed because of inaccurate aim, rather than Weston defense.

The second half of the game went by slower than the first.

The third quarter brought impressive defense by Pai, as she put enough pressure on her opponents to cause them to turnover the ball. This allowed sophomore Lilli Wain (#18) to take gain offensive possession and drive it down to Balatka, who made a nearly-successful shot down the right flank of the field.

Aside from this shot, neither team succeeded in making strong attempts at goal this quarter.

However, during the fourth quarter, Weston picked up the pace, firing shots at Barnard-Pratt one after another. Even so, Barnard-Pratt’s quick instincts protected the goal.

With two minutes left on the clock, sophomore Tara Morris (#25) made one last, yet unsuccessful, attempt at goal. After a quick tackle on her Weston defender, Davey took control of the ball and drove it down to Morris who tried sliding it past Weston’s goalie; this was the last play of the day as WA used a timeout to end the game.

Reflecting on the game, Davey is proud of her team for putting the effort in to win.

“We did a great job [with] putting pressure on their back line and defending. Weston has some really talented players, but we were able to get ourselves organized and keep the ball out of our net,” Davey said.

Specifically, Davey credits Almasian, Doherty, and Barnard-Pratt as key forces in this game’s win.

“Tamar has been playing well in the back this whole season. She’s very strong in her position. Her goal today was great, and Izzy’s cross from the corner was perfect,” Davey said. “Kiani is insane. Her saves are just incredible.”

Going forward, head coach Kate Andjus hopes to see her team take the lessons they learned competing against Weston and apply them throughout the rest of their season.

“I want to see our team continue to possess the ball and make good quality passes around our opponents. We are hard to stop when we keep the ball on the ground and pass quickly. I want to see us start to concentrate on finishing in front of the net more. We had a ton of chances to score but only had one goal,” Andjus said.

The team’s next game will be held at WA’s Trustees Field on Tuesday, Sept. 21, against Boston Latin School.