Even with regional final loss, girls soccer finishes strong

The Lady Bulldogs’ season came to a sudden end with a 1-0 loss to undefeated B-CC Nov. 9 in the regional finals. 

 This is the second straight season that the Barons have ended the Bulldogs’s season in the regional finals. Last year B-CC defeated CHS on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw through 100 minutes of play. 

 “We wanted it really bad [this year], [as] we had 15 seniors on the team and all 15 of us remembered how it felt to lose to them last year,” senior captain Alexis Shay said. “We didn’t prepare very differently; we focused on the midfield because that was the strongest part of their team.”

 B-CC scored in the first half after a shot went off the crossbar and right back to the Barons. Senior goalie Krista Quicker was unable to save the second shot as she laid on the ground after diving for the first one. The Bulldogs were unable to score despite some chances.

“It was pretty disappointing after the B-CC game, just because it was a really close game and everyone was sad for the season to be over,” junior Colby Ranck said. “B-CC is a very good team and we did as much as we could to stick with them, but they had a really good goal and we just couldn’t get one in.”

After an impressive 3-0 win against rival Whitman Nov. 2 in the regional quarterfinals, the girls soccer team continued its extraordinary season with a 2-1 Nov. 5 win over third-seeded Walter Johnson, the team responsible for the Bulldogs’ lone loss in the regular season.

 “We felt going into the game that their outside was there to take advantage of,” head coach Haroot Hakopian said. “We got the ball to the forwards, then wide, and worked our way in.”
 The Nov. 5 WJ game started out scrappy and unorganized, but with an even amount of possession and with both teams creating scoring chances. 

 The Wildcats took the lead early when junior Carly Van Wagoner finished a cross past goalie senior Krista Quicker in the 15th minute. 

 The Lady Bulldogs then stuck to their 3-4-3 system that has worked all season, ultimately leading the team to an 11-1-1 record. The girls started using the wide play to their advantage and putting lots of pressure on the WJ defense.

“The team reacted well after WJ scored an early goal,” Shay said. “We knew if we continued to play our game and high pressure we would figure it out.”

 After a miscue at the back for the Wildcats, senior Lara Lieberman evened the score in the 35th minute. After tying the score, it was all CHS’s game. 

 The overwhelming possession play worked its way down the wings, creating multiple chances to score, including a strike by Shay.

Finally, in the 65th minute, freshman Carly Shapiro’s pass bounced across the Wildcats penalty box and after a scrum for the ball, Ranck’s strike ended in the back of the net.

 “Jenna and Alexis were the leading goal scorers on our team and everyone from the other teams knew that they would have to double up and mark them really well,” Ranck said. “Since most of the defenders were focusing on marking them the whole time, it left me open for a lot more scoring opportunities.”

Then against Whitman, Ranck racked up all three goals which came in a 25th, 72nd and 78th minutes to complete the hat trick for the evening. The Bulldogs will have a huge hole to fill for next year as the team will graduate 15 seniors.

“It’s disappointing to lose, but we were 23-3-1 in the past two seasons,” Hakopian said. “We allowed 10 goals and scored 101 goals. I know it didn’t end the way we wanted to, but we have nothing to be ashamed of and two those three loses are against a team about to win states.”

 CHS vs. Whitman                   (regional quarterfinal) W 3-0
 CHS vs. Walter Johnson         (regional semifinal) W 2-1
 CHS vs. Bethesda-Chevy Chase (regional final) L 0-1