Girls soccer struggles as playoffs approach

Ellen Mengucci

Senior captain Rebecca Ewel blocks a potential goal against Wootton Oct. 11. The game was one of three 1-0 losses in a four-game losing streak.

By Matt Raab, Sports Editor

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After an exceptional 5-1-1 start, the girls soccer team stumbled through a four-game losing streak. The streak was snapped by a 3-0 win in the team’s last regular season game against Einstein Oct. 22, but the damage was done, sending the team to a 6-5-1 regular season record.

Offensive struggles have defined the team’s play in the second half of the regular season, with the team combining for five goals in its last seven games. Two of those goals came on penalty kicks and one was an own goal by the opposing team.

“We had four goals in our last five games, but three of those came in one game,” head coach Haroot Hakopian said. “That’s the most frustrating part of this season.”

The team fought to a 2-1 loss against Walter Johnson Oct. 18, ending a three- game goalless streak. Although the scores seem to demonstrate that CHS has been shut down offensively as the season ended, Hakopian still feels the team is a threat on offense.

“It’s completely psychological, everyone wants to score,” Hakopian said. “We’ve controlled every game. We’ve had more shots on goal than every team  we’ve played besides B-CC.”

Preceding the WJ loss were three 1-0 losses in a row to Richard Montgomery Oct. 16, Wootton Oct. 11 and B-CC Oct. 9.

The loss to B-CC held particular significance for the team, beacuse its promising 5-1-1 start was marred by a 1-0 loss to its rival. The team has struggled recently against the squad. B-CC has knocked the Bulldogs out of the playoffs for three years in a row.

“B-CC is our hardest game,” sophomore midfielder Sarah Johnston said. “We’ve gotten so much better than last year.”

Although this improvement seemed to be asserting itself in the first weeks of the season, the B-CC loss has added an element of uncertainty to the team’s chances should it face its adversary again in the playoffs. Although B-CC was never in control of the game, they took the lead early in the second half, and the ball then travelled up and down the field between the teams’ offenses until time expired. The Bulldogs were unable to find the back of the net.

CHS beat Whitman 3-2 Oct. 3, preceded by a tie with Blair, 0-0, Oct.1 and a 1-0 OT win over Quince Orchard Sept. 20. The team struggled on the offensive side of the ball in all three games leading up to the B-CC match, with the Bulldogs’ three goals in the Whitman game coming on an own goal and two penalty kicks by Zoe Forster.

“We couldn’t pull it together,” Johnston said. “There were a lot of called offsides, and nothing was going our way.”

The Bulldogs lost their entire starting front line and some members of the midfield to graduation at the end of last season, leaving the current front line with little varsity experience. The team does not feel that any of their recent play will have an effect on its goals for the season, and it feels strongly in its ability to exceed last year’s loss in the regional finals.

“We’re confident that we’re going to states,” Johnston said.