Varsity Girls Soccer team has a bond unlike any other at WA

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Unnati Bhat

WA Girls Varsity Soccer team poses for a picture after their game against Newton South.

Sophia Keang, Co-Managing Editor

WAGS (WA Girls Soccer) is known for its team’s imperishable kinship. From the countless memories at spags (spaghetti dinner parties) to bus rides filled with laughter, the team acts as a second family for all the girls.

This sense of unity among the girls has led to the season’s ongoing success as the team makes its way to the DCL Tournament. After a successful regular season, WAGS has secured a spot in the DCL championships after earning a season record of 8-4-3. Although the team lost against Acton-Boxborough in their first DCL game, they will be going head to head on Concord-Carlisle’s field this Friday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. in hopes to place third place in the league. 

“I’m so proud of the girls’ improvement this season,” Coach Katie Andjus said. “We had a bit of an inconsistent start, but we got our momentum and kept pushing each other to be the best we could to work towards the DCL championship and state tournament.”

Additionally, this was the first season since the COVID-19 pandemic that games were open to the public. This allowed non-family members to watch the games live and in-person without a required access pass from players. 

“We were really excited when more spectators were allowed at our games. I think having that support of our friends and family on the bleachers really helped motivate us even through the rough plays,” junior Meghan Hall said.

While family and friends were some of WAGS’s greatest supporters, the team’s rewarding season was due to the shared winning mindset.

“The energy everyone brings to practices and games is definitely one of my favorite parts of WAGS […]. We’re all working towards the same goal and it feels amazing to go out and just play soccer and not care about anything else despite whatever is going on off the field,” senior captain Victoria Princi said.

Though many of the team’s key players from last season have graduated and gone to play at the collegiate level, WAGS’ senior players believe that the team’s spirit for game days and efforts to create a sense of unity have been crucial for their success. 

“Our team is made up of girls who not only love the sport but love being a part of the WAGS family. Even though they cheer and support those playing on the field from the sidelines, they also make sure to go to our spags and other activities off the field to build up the team bond,” senior goalie Kiani Barnard-Pratt said.

Senior captains Princi, Isabel Doherty, Carly Davey, and other senior teammates tried their best to balance school, clubs, and the college application season, in which they are grateful that leadership is shown through all the grades on their team.

“Our team consists mostly of seniors, and with that comes a lot of experience and leadership. We [captains] make sure that we are leading among our peers and not over them… And a lot of the girls step up to show leadership that is unique and contributes to the team,” Davey said.

Team Traditions

WAGS is also known for its several team traditions. Whether the tradition was just established or created years ago, the team is sure to follow through on each act with pride and enthusiasm.  

  • Larissa the Traffic Cone

The infamous bright orange, 3-foot traffic cone is a tradition started by former WAGS players three years ago. It also includes the name of every WAGS team member on the cone. Every game day, players pass the cone around the school to each other. Whoever has the cone when the final bell rings at 1:55 p.m. becomes the last in line at the spag. Senior Tamar Almasian took ownership of the cone this season as it is passed down to the loudest player with the most spirit.

“The team gets super competitive when it comes to Larissa because who would want to be the last in line at the spag? The answer is no one,” Doherty said.

  • Freaky hat

The team’s freaky hat is passed down to the “craziest and most enthusiastic” player in WAGS. The DIY hat created from a deflated ball with a side of it cut out is signed by all the former players who’ve owned it. This season, Princi took possession and pride of the freaky hat.

  • Team Mom

Every year, the first aid kit is passed down to the player who the team considers to have a “mom vibe” — responsible, trusting, and caring. This season, Doherty was chosen as the “Team Mom”.

  • Stepping onto the field

This tradition has been so everlasting that not even current members can remember when it started. Each summer, the team goes to a soccer camp in New Hampshire coached every year by Mike Rugnetta, one of the team’s most encouraging supporters. 

Rugnetta, though a is a summer camp coach, is also part of the WAGS family. Not only does he contribute to how well the girls prepare for the season but provides life advice that players use both on and off the field.

“Mike said that the only way for the team to feel prepared to play in a game was by having the team line up on the sideline holding hands and stepping onto the field on the count of three. This provided unison among the girls before a game and reminded them why they played—to work hard together, for each other. And since then, WAGS have stepped onto the field holding hands after the first cheer every game,” Doherty said. 

While seniors prepare for their final moments with WAGS, it is evident that the team’s bond is like no other at WA. Love, care, and passion come within each player, new or old, and past generations always leave something for the next.

“I’m definitely going to miss all the little things that come with WAGS like the spags, bus rides, and just being with the team. It was such a unique experience to be a part of this program, and it’s something that I’ll always be thankful for, sharing this experience with my best friends,” Davey said.