The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Disappointed Girls Soccer Falls Short of States

As the buzzer sounded on Oct. 28, the girls soccer team saw themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 score against Whitman. Though it was just the third loss of the season for the 4A West division champions, it ended their season in just the second round of the playoffs.

The team entered the playoffs riding nine consecutive wins, including defeats over Quince Orchard, Whitman and Blair, some of the toughest teams on their schedule. After triumphing over Einstein 7-1 in the regular season finale, it seemed as if all the pieces were in place for a run at the state championship. Despite a top seed in the playoffs and a first round bye, the team was unable to fulfill its lofty potential, losing their first playoff game.

A key to the team’s success was the leadership of the seven seniors, including  All-American senior forward Caroline Miller, WJ’s all-time scoring leader. According to coach Tom Wheeler, this season’s early playoff exit does not undermine the success of his graduating players.

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“I am proud of the seniors who have won 41 games, two division championships and three tournaments in their four years,” he said. “Caroline Miller is the most outstanding player in the state. I am sorry that she and the other seniors did not finish their careers on the state championship podium, but every team but one loses their last game of the season.”

Next season, the team will have many holes to fill. Miller will be playing at the University of  Virginia. Senior midfielder Charline Cartoux will play at James Madison. Senior midfielder Christine Walsh and defender Mitra Ebrahimi are also being recruited.  Wheeler also announced his retirement as girls soccer coach following the Whitman game. Though the losses will provide obstacles next season, the team believes that they can overcome it.

“I think that we will all miss the seniors and coach Wheeler,” said junior forward Catherine Madden. “Their leadership really kept us going. However, as a team next year we’ll have to connect and get through the tough loss together.”

Though replacing the graduating seniors will be a challenge, next season will also provide a luxury that the team was deprived of this year: a home field. The team played its home games at their opponents stadiums and did not benefit from the home field advantage that WJ sports teams are accustomed to. The girls, however, were still able to have the best record in their division.

“We became so focused on our own team and our potential that regardless of the location, we left all we had on the field and hoped that it would lead to a win,” said Ebrahimi.

Though the team turned in a successful season without a home venue, the completion of the new stadium for next year will give them a home field advantage that could make up for the loss of this year’s seniors.

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