Girls soccer vs SPF turns in mixed results

by Julia Rivera 
WHS girls soccer team defeated SPF 1-0 on Sept. 15., breaking last year’s three game losing streak against SPF which included a loss in last year’s county championship. Despite the rain, wind and numerous penalties, WHS was able to persevere.

Senior Tri-Captain Victoria Gagliano said, “[SPF] came out here expecting to beat us on our home field and we put them in their place.”

The first half saw few opportunities for both WHS and SPF. However, WHS was able to capitalize in the thirty-fourth minute. Sophomore Karli Sottung was fouled in front of the SPF goal, which led to a successful a penalty kick by senior Tri-Captain Mercedes Smith.

Smith said: “I wasn’t really thinking. I knew I had to be relaxed. It was a good opportunity to put us ahead.”

During the second half, the wind affected the play. Coach Alex Schmidt said: “We out passed them in the first half but they did a little better in the second half. Then the wind picked up and we were playing into it which, for anyone that understands soccer, knows was a challenge. Not to sound cliché, but we definitely weathered the storm.”

SPF’s offense jumped on the chance to tie the game and played more aggressively, testing the WHS defense and senior goalie Sophia DeVita.

According to Schmidt, this was DeVita’s “first real start [and she] definitely did well.”

DeVita was tested again when SPF had a corner kick with less than 10 minutes to go in the game. The ball was placed at the top bar but DeVita jumped and deflected it out of bounds.

That was one of several close calls; SPF had a direct kick taken by Christy Monroy but DeVita saved it. DeVita said: “I decided on my own [to be the goalie] and I worked hard and trained over the summer, because I’ve always liked goal more than forward.”

Junior Alexandra Tinfow said: “It’s a long season with a lot of games. You can’t dwell on one victory or one loss because you are always looking ahead and trying to improve as much as you can.”

The girls will play tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at Kearny High School.