Girls Varsity Soccer stages successful comeback after slow start

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Jacqueline Shih, Staff Writer

“We have the talent to beat anyone, so if we play together and we play well, there is no team we can’t beat,” Girls Varsity Soccer (GVS) team coach Tim Sullivan said. GVS hopes to end the season with the NYSAIS championship.

The Lions won 1-0 against the Ethical Culture Fieldston School for the second time on Monday and tied 1-1 against Poly Prep on Wednesday. 

The team ended the last two weeks strong with a six-game win streak. The team has moved from practically last in the Ivy Preparatory League to third overall of the seven teams in the league, Lexie Gordon (10) said.

Looking back at the season, the team has improved immensely, Gordon said. The team set a goal earlier on in the season to win more and connect their passes. Their progress in their second goal began to show during their recent win against Dalton, as a lot of the team’s best plays came off of their combinations, she said.

At the Fieldston game, Kayla Choi (11) scored the winning goal. It was a great shot — it beat the keeper at the near post, Gordon said.

The team’s defense stood out as a whole, Sullivan said. All the players marked the opposition and maintained good pressure on Fieldston’s players throughout the game, which made their passes very difficult to connect, he said. “This tactic stood as a big advantage for our team.”

Despite their win, the team found it difficult to play on Fieldston’s field because of its size, Gordon said. “[The team] struggled a little bit, but [they] kept fighting the entire game and never gave up.” The Lions use their speed from the top of the field, especially when playing offense, which was hampered by the size of the field, she said. 

While Fieldston had the advantage of their home turf, the Lions’ parents brought the energy back to their court, Gordon said.” The parents were amazing and got so into the game –– they are always so supportive and really help motivate the team.”

Christine Tao (11) played well in the middle, along with Jane Offit (11) and Choi, who were all big threats to Fieldston, Sullivan said. Fieldston had to place five players against Offit and Choi, which was a major distraction for the opposing team even when the Lions were not scoring, he said.

On Wednesday’s game, the team yet again faced the first ranked team in the Ivy preparatory league, Poly Prep. When they played them back on September 9, the Lions lost 1-3. This game, the Lions took their revenge at home and tied 1-1. 

“Today [is] the day to prove that we have the best skill in the Ivy league,” Ceci Couglin (12) said. Regardless of the cold weather, the team had great morale and gave the game their all.

The Lions were the first to score with a free kick by Choi; Poly scored a free kick in the second half, which sent the game into an overtime of two five minute halves. Since neither team scored during these two halves, the game was a tie.

“Everyone on the team is ultimately working towards the same goal,” Sofia Filardo (11) said. “The team has really been connecting on passes really well, especially in comparison to earlier this season, due to our communication and chemistry as a team.”

The team’s success is a result of their chemistry, Gordon said. They often hang out and grab dinner together. “The whole team is very supportive of each other, and the energy that everyone on the team brings really leads us to the wins.”

With two games left for the Lions, they hope to play their best and end the season strong by making it to the playoffs with the seniors, Gordon said. “I will miss everything –– I love everyone on this team so much, and I’m going to miss the camaraderie.”