On Wednesday afternoon, Girls’ Varsity Soccer took on Saint Andrew’s School on a damp Labelle field. With the bitter taste of their last game’s results still in their mouths, the girls set out for and were hungry to find victory.
In the first half, Winchendon struggled to connect passes, make proper decisions, and play a controlled game. Although there was distinct effort being put in, the team had trouble playing its game despite knowing that it had the potential to win. St. Andrew’s held the lead at the end of the first half 1-0.
Once again at halftime, the team knew what needed to be fixed, so the players worked hard in the second half to execute. While the opponent scored a perfectly-placed goal mere minutes into the second half, Winch used this moment as fuel and lit a raging fire. Suddenly, the girls began playing a controlled game with phenomenal transitions and patience. Soon enough, Julia Brennan ’23 ripped a shot into the back of the net, putting Winch on the board and upping the team’s energy and urgency level even more. Throughout the last 20 minutes of the game, the girls threw everything but the kitchen sink at St. Andrew’s, consistently challenging their keeper to make tough saves. Grace Fitzgerald ’22 had her best game of the season, seizing opportunities to take her space down the sideline and serve dangerous crosses into the opponent’s goal box. On the defensive end, Maude St. Louis ’21 proved a force to be reckoned with as she played a high-pressure style that often forced St. Andrew’s to make mistakes and give up the ball. With Maria Pierce ’23 in the center midfield settling the ball and impressively controlling the transition, Winchendon continued to push for a goal and took more shots than they had in any past games.
Finally, with two minutes left in the game, Winch was awarded a direct kick directly outside the top corner of the goal box. Julia Brennan ’23 took the situation into her own hands, set the ball up quickly, and without any pause or hesitation, skipped a low ball inside the near post and past the keeper to score her second goal of the game and to tie it up. The team erupted but celebrated briefly, then continued to push through the end of the game, determined to find the back of the net once more. Unfortunately, the game ended in a 2-2 tie, but the girls and their coaches were both proud of and impressed by the half that they played and fight that they exhibited.
With a new understanding of what this team is capable of on the pitch, Winchendon GVS looks forward to their next game against Dublin.