Girls’ soccer team wears down Watertown

Sep 30, 2016 by

Warriors post first win of season, prevail 1-0

THE WMHS girls’ soccer team huddles together during a recent game. The Warriors broke into the win column last night with a 1-0 triumph over Watertown giving first year head Stephanie Martin her first victory. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

THE WMHS girls’ soccer team huddles together during a recent game. The Warriors broke into the win column last night with a 1-0 triumph over Watertown giving first year head Stephanie Martin her first victory. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

Published in the September 30, 2016 edition.

By DAN BYRNE

WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High School varsity girls’ soccer team has had some tough results this fall, but the season may be turning in the right direction as the Warriors notched their first win under first year head coach Stephanie Martin with a 1-0 victory over Watertown last night at Walton Field.

The team took the field under the lights, and in the chilly evening, there was an air of desperation around the field. As the game kicked off, Wakefield showed its strength with an offensive attack that put Watertown’s defense under pressure for nearly the entire game.

The teams battled. As Wakefield pushed forward, Watertown’s defense solidified, causing havoc in the final third of the pitch in front of Watertown goalie Kerrianne Toland.

Meanwhile, at the other end there wasn’t much for Courtney Hill to do in net for the Warriors, as the play was up the other end of the field most of the game.

Hill’s defense did a great job in front of her, and she made all the stops she needed to when her number was called upon, keeping the Red Raiders off the scoreboard the entire game.

Despite being under tons of pressure, the Red Raider defense held out through the first 40 minutes and the game went to halftime scoreless.

The teams switched ends but the run of play was similar to the first half. Wakefield kept the ball and created opportunities to get itself a lead but a goal wasn’t easy to come by last night.

It wasn’t until 13 minutes remaining, that the Red Raider defense finally wore out, after being run ragged by the Warriors from the start. Watertown was at a massive disadvantage to begin with, having only 12 players dressed for the game.

Eventually the Watertown defender’s legs began to tire, after a commendable effort, and Hailey Lovell broke away down the right side. As she closed on goal, she dumped it off to Christina LeBlanc who smashed it home by the goalie, giving the Warriors the 1-0 lead.

Watertown tried its best to hit back but the lone goal held up, and the Warriors walked off with their first win of the season

“It was very close,” Coach Martin said after her first win. “We had our opportunities but. you know, we kept plugging and it was important that we kept pushing and pushing.”

She knows there were some plays that could have been goals and against better teams will need to become goals but that didn’t matter at the time as she reflected on the performance

“We could have made a wider gap but we didn’t,” she said.

Watertown stood up and put the Warriors to the test, while Wakefield got a passing grade. Wakefield is now 1-4-3 on the season.

“We kept working all game, it was a hard fought game and we came out on top,” said Martin. “We needed this. It’s been a long season and they needed this to give them some confidence going forward throughout the rest of the season. It’s a weight off their shoulders, I’m very happy for them. It’s well deserved, they’ve been waiting for this first victory for a long time, so I’m very happy for them.

“They’ve been working every practice super hard and we’ve been playing well all season, it just hadn’t happened for us,” added Martin. “I’m happy that they got this win tonight.”

The coach liked seeing the team get better and better with each minute that went by.

“Our play definitely improved as the game went on,” she said. “First touch and movement off the ball got better throughout the game I’m pleased with their effort. Christina LeBlanc had the game-winning goal, it was a nice finish there.”

Martin spoke about how this win sets the team up with the rest of the schedule.

“We’re going to build off that. We just talked about it, we’re going to jump on this train and start winning some games,” she said. “(We want to) Go on a little streak here, that’s what we’re hoping for.”

She spoke confidently about her team’s ability and the belief she and her staff has in their players.

“They have to believe in themselves,” she said. “They’re a good team. We believe in them, they’re going to be in it.”

Next up for the Warriors is non-league a weekend match up with Swampscott, that could end up getting messy with the weather forecast but that’s no deterrent for Martin.

“We’re looking forward to Swampscott on Saturday,” she said.

Saturday’s game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at Walton Field at the Galvin Middle School.

—–

At Walton Field

Watertown……….0  0 — 0

WAKEFIELD……..0  1 — 1

—–

First Half — No Scoring.

Second Half — Wak, LeBlanc (Lovell), 27:00.

Saves — Wak, Hill (NA). Wat, Toland (NA).

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