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Girls kick their way into tourney

By Denebola
Published: October 2010

The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team, sporting a 6-3-7 record as of October 24, has acquired a playoff berth with two games remaining in the regular season.
On October 24, the team passed the 18 point mark, which is the minimum total to qualify for the tournament. The team receives two points for a win and one point for a tie.
The Girls’ Soccer team has been playing well and has surprised many by being a contender this late in the season.
After the 2008 senior-loaded team finished its season, it was clear that the team would have to go through a rebuilding phase. However, the rebuilding season gave the young players a chance to adjust to playing at the Varsity level and get ready for this season.
“Last year we had a lot of new people and didn’t really have it together, but this year it’s really coming together, senior and captain Martha Schnee said.
Several of the seniors on the team have played together for six years, which is a big advantage for the Lions. Schnee and her classmates form the strong, experienced core that has led them to success.
The Lions’ ability to beat higher ranked opponents has propelled them to tournament contention.
The team displayed its prowess earlier this season in a difficult three game stretch. Following a thrilling 3-1 victory against Tyngsboro High School, South’s team continued its success by tying then-undefeated Concord-Carlisle.
South rounded out its stretch with a game against crosstown Newton North on October 17. On that day, the girls lost a thriller to the cross-town Tigers.
The team played well in the first half, having possession of the ball during the majority of the game and hitting the crossbar on an attempted goal in.
The game deadlocked 0-0 into the second half, South battled to end the tie, backed by a student body of chest-painted soccer fanatics. With 26 seconds left on the clock, North scored a game-winning goal.
“We lost in the last 26 seconds, it was a nice shot, [in the] bottom right [of the goal] off an attempted clear, Schnee said.
The Lion’s bench played a critical role in keeping the team in the game, as several starters suffered from injuries over the course of the game.
According to Schnee, the bench has been and has done a phenomenal job stepping in for injured players.
Even though the injured players were skillful, their departures left a void mentally in the team. Their experience and authority on the field has led the team and has helped the younger players contribute.
The Dual County League (DCL) is widely considered one of the toughest divisions in the state, especially in the major high school sports.
“[The schedule] is pretty difficult, the DCL is really difficult, but the out of league games are mostly ok, junior Amanda Utstein said. “We’d probably do better in a different league.
Even though the team has already clinched a playoff berth, it was by no means an easy accomplishment.
Making the tournament in itself was a considerable feat, as the team has missed the tournament for the last two years and has to compete in the DCL.
However satisfied the team might become from making the tournament, it will focus its sights on the difficult task of bringing home a trophy.
McCarthy believes that South will be given a low seed as a result of clinching a berth this late in the season.
The combination of a variety of skilled teams in the bracket and a low seeding will pose as considerable obstacles to overcome this postseason.
For a team that was not expected to be a contender for a playoff berth, Girls’ Soccer has an opportunity to continue to shock many in the South community.

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