WAGS loses to Concord Carlisle in the DCL Playoffs


James Farley

WAGS locks in on the defensive end in their 2-1 loss to Concord-Carlisle.

James Farley, Co-Sports Editor

Westford Academy Girls Soccer fell short to Concord Carlisle 2-1 on Friday, Oct. 29 in a pivotal DCL playoff game.

This loss knocked WA out of DCL Championship contention, but their season will continue in the state tournament thanks to having a record above .500 on the season.

From the opening kickoff of Friday’s game, WAGS and Concord Carlisle were locked in a defensive battle. CC had several offensive possessions that resulted in shots on goal, but impressive defense from senior captain Victoria Princi held the Patriots scoreless throughout the early stages of the first half.  

These defensive stops allowed for WA to pass the ball up ahead to senior forward Grace Carroll who provided their best offensive opportunities of the first half.  With streaky speed, Carroll was able to bring the ball down the sidelines and look for her open teammates, yet was stopped short each time by the stifling CC defense.

Throughout the remainder of the first half, both defenses continued to shut down everything that came their way, with Princi, sophomore Sarah Kirby, and sophomore Abby Baker leading the way.  The teams went into halftime knotted in a 0-0 tie.

Similar defensive intensity from the first half was carried straight over to the second.  However, CC’s offense started to step up their game, while WAGS’ remained stagnant. Junior goalie Kiani Barnard-Pratt kept WAGS in the game with several saves throughout the second half, preventing CC’s jolt of offense from putting any goals on the board.

After over sixty-five minutes of scoreless soccer, this narrative changed in CC’s favor.  On a corner kick with twelve minutes left to play in the game, CC controlled the pass and shot the ball past Barnard-Pratt and into the goal, taking a 1-0 lead.

Despite having limited shots on goal throughout the game, WAGS returned the favor by flipping a switch on the offensive end. WA scored a goal of their own off a corner kick to tie the game up at 1-1 just two minutes later.  With ten minutes left on the clock and the score tied at 1-1, it was anyone’s ball game.

The spree of goals continued just a minute later, with the Patriots converting on yet another corner kick, scoring what proved to be the deciding goal of the game as they took a 2-1 lead with under nine minutes to play.

With time running out to tie the game up again, WAGS did whatever they could to put their second goal of the game in the net. However, their efforts came up just short, as CC’s defense stopped any other shots on goal.  With CC in control, the final whistle sounded to end the game, handing CC the 2-1 victory.

Despite the loss, WA is still hopeful to continue their season with wins throughout the state tournament.

“The game against Concord-Carlisle was a battle. We are equally matched, and they have a really strong striker and center midfielder,” Baker said.  “While we didn’t get the win, we refined our passing skills and worked on our strategy that has been building all season to get ready for the state tournament starting this week.”

WAGS looks to extend their season in the state tournament on Thursday against a TBD opponent.