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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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Déjà vu: Wildcats eliminated in OT by Vikings

Freshman+midfielder+Evie+Avillo+dribbles+past+a+Whitman+defender.+The+Wildcats+and+Vikings+pushed+the+game+into+overtime+where+the+Wildcats+eventually+fell+2-1.
Photo courtesy of Sam Mayster
Freshman midfielder Evie Avillo dribbles past a Whitman defender. The Wildcats and Vikings pushed the game into overtime where the Wildcats eventually fell 2-1.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the girls’ soccer team was eliminated from the playoffs by the top-seeded Whitman Vikings 2-1 in overtime. This was only the second loss of the season for the Wildcats, both of which came in overtime to the Vikings.

In the first half, the Vikings started out strong, possessing the ball deep into Wildcats’ territory while getting many corner kicks along the way. The Wildcats’ defense stayed strong and did not allow a goal through. Junior goalkeeper Federica Gavelli had nine saves in the first half. Later in the first half, it was the Wildcats who were on the attack, but they were also held scoreless making the halftime score 0-0.

There were a bunch of opportunities for us to score. I felt like we came out a little bit too slow than we are used to coming out and I think that was a factor in the result of the first half.

— senior captain and midfielder/forward Aranda Hurge

In the first few minutes of the second half, the Vikings struck first with a goal to take a 1-0 lead. It wasn’t long before the Wildcats came back with a score of their own on a free kick from senior defender Isabella Mondelli.

“We were very motivated to win. We’ve been down before and we know how to respond, so we took everything we learned over the season and we pushed back and got one in,” Gavelli said.

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Both defenses held the other team to no scores for the remainder of the half while Gavelli racked up another five saves, taking the game into overtime at 1-1.

“We were really nervous but we were also excited. We knew we had a chance and could do it,” freshman midfielder Evie Avillo said.

Early in overtime, the Wildcats were able to get the ball into the penalty box thanks to a play set up by senior captain and midfielder Vivian Vendt. Vendt crossed the ball to her teammate, but it was quickly stolen away. The Wildcats were able to keep the pressure on the Vikings, but due to a controversial call when a Whitman player went down, the Vikings were able to gain possession.

“I blocked two clearances and then [senior forward] Caroline [Williams] came and pressured with me. A Whitman girl fell and the ball was in between her legs for a couple seconds. Anywhere on the field that would have been an indirect kick for us, but the referee came over and blew the whistle. He told me that there was no foul committed and that it was Whitman’s ball,” Avillo said.

Almost immediately the Vikings were able to get the ball into space and create a one-on-one where they were able to score the goal that clinched them the 4A West Regional Championship and a trip to the state playoff rounds.

“Overall, it was a very good season. We completed most of the goals we wanted to complete. Unfortunately, it was cut short,” Hurge said.

This was the second year in a row and the third time in four years that the Wildcats were eliminated by the Vikings.

“We have a lot of good upperclassmen, so we are going to have a lot of good [current] juniors who will be seniors next year… it will continue to be a really tough battle. The games will still be super close, but I’m still confident in how we are going to play against them,” Avillo said.

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Joshua Singer
Joshua Singer, Print Editor-in-Chief
Joshua Singer is a junior and is ecstatic to be a Print Editor-in-Chief in his second full year on The Pitch. In his free time, Josh enjoys running, playing guitar and announcing sports.
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