Girls Varsity Soccer Ends Season in Semifinals

After a series of thrilling victories, the Girls Varsity Soccer team’s season ended in the semifinals of the New England Tournament. After a last-minute victory against Taft and an upset win against Nobles, the team fell to Miss Porter’s 1-0 on Saturday.
Head Coach Christy Cooper P ’08, P’11 plays an important part in fostering and maintaining the team’s culture. At the start of every practice, Coach Cooper checks in with the players and asks about their days, ensuring a close coach-player relationship. In reflecting on her goals for the season, she said, “[Our goals were] to get to know each other very well, to form strong bonds on the team, to put forth our best effort, [and] to have fun.”
From captains to coaches, the team strives to provide the girls with a healthy environment in which to grow and enjoy
the game. Co-captain Sofia Weber ’20 said, “We want to make the team a sisterhood – a place to relax and have fun. We put a lot of responsibility on our upperclass [students,] to make sure the younger players are doing well and feel supported and comfortable [with each other].”
During practice, the team focuses on small side games, where coaches can break down the game into individual battles between a few players and build skills in a pressure-filled situation with limited space. The team then applies these lessons to their performance in tight situations.
This year, the Girls Varsity Soccer Team has also been spending more time on finishing and working on offense, with new striker, Lydia Bullock ’22, as a key component to many scoring and offensive techniques.
On Taft Day, the team remained tied at 1-1 for the majority of the game, with Gigi Day ’22 scoring the only goal in the first half. Going into the second half, the
players began to feel pressure from both Taft’s offense and the clock. In the last three minutes, the team broke the deadlock for its hard work when Fati Salifu ’22 scored the game-winning goal. Weber said, “We were excited for the game, because Taft always plays their best against us. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we never gave up and got the win.”
The team then went on to play as the fifth seed in the New England Championship playoffs, where it faced the fourth seeded Noble and Greenough School in the quarterfinals. The team pulled away with a 2-1 win, with Lydia Bullock ’22 and Louisa Essuman ’20 scoring. The team then played the top seeded Miss Porter’s, but was unable to find victory. They lost 0-1.
This season marks the third year in a row that the team has made it to the playoffs, and the second time in three years that it has reached the semifinals.