Girls soccer (10-4-4) lost to Westview High School (9-8-2) 1-0 at Westview on Feb. 6.
The game opened with a series of aggressive offensive plays by the Wolverines and good footwork on the Falcons’ side.
“We kept them out of our end and we did a pretty good job holding on to the ball in the first half of the game,” Westview coach Peter Stogsdill said.
Fifteen minutes into the first half, Westview player Grace McLeod followed up on a teammate’s long, high shot, kicking it into the goal, which goalkeeper Veronica Romines (12) was unable to block.
“Our goalie is a great goalie and she just mishandled that one,” head coach Martyn Hansford said. “Defense didn’t back her up … they should’ve [defended] her [more].”
Stogsdill said that the goal was “pretty fortunate” for the Westview team, as was a goal in the Falcons’ Jan. 21 loss to the Wolverines, an outcome Stogsdill had hoped to repeat.
In the second half, Hansford made a change to get more control of the ball by shifting defender Gianna Montini to midfield.
“[Our formation] wasn’t working the best for us because it gave in too much ball at midfield,” Hansford said. “At halftime we went back to our usual back three.”
The Falcons entered the second half energized and immediately put the Wolverines on defense.
“The first half wasn’t our best, but we were winning most of the balls in the air,” captain Lucy Ferrari (12) said. “We weren’t at the top of our game in the first half. In the second half, we came out a lot better, and we shut them down.”
Despite several near misses and a strong showing in the second half, the Falcons did not manage to score, giving the Wolverines the win.
“Our strategy against Westview, like it always has been, is to [avoid getting] behind if we can, which didn’t work out quite the way we wanted it to tonight,” Hansford said.
According to Ferrari, the two schools have developed a fierce rivalry.
“I think in the end they wanted it more than us, and we kind of underestimated them,” Ferrari said.
Midfielder Christina Bragado (11) attributes the Wolverine win to the intensity and passion with which they played, but she praised her team.
“We held our composure well and kept fighting to the last minute,” Bragado said. “I think this will make us go harder on our next game.”
According to Hansford, with players’ club commitments, injuries, illnesses and college visits, one of the team’s biggest challenges this season has been maintaining a consistent lineup.
Despite issues with the lineup, Hansford was pleased with the team performance.
“We don’t need to reinvent the way we play. We’re a good team,” Hansford said. “We play good soccer, but the one thing we haven’t done as well this year is score as many goals.”
The Falcons played at Mt. Carmel High School (5-11-3) on Feb. 11 after the Falconer went to press and will play Poway High School (9-5-2) at Poway on Feb. 13.