Mr. Barbetta supports girls soccer against strong opponent

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Junior Yessica Escorza dribbles ball away from opponent. Photo taken <br /><figcaption id=Photo by Maya Grodzka.

On September 17, the girls competed against Forest Hills High School at the Forest Hills field. Last season, Forest Hills was ranked first in the division, and although they were supposed to be a challenging team to beat, the THHS girls came up with a big win over them.

Before the game, sophomore Nicole Gleizer and some of her teammates suggested that they invite students and faculty members to soccer games to build momentum and motivation for upcoming games. Right on cue, and without even being aware of the soccer team’s plea for supporters, Principal Barbetta showed up to watch the girls play.

As Mr. Barbetta, ironically the former Assistant Principal of Organization of Forest Hills, stood before the field ready to watch the girls start their game, he said, “The best part of being principal is being with the kids. I think it’s important, whether it be in the classrooms at school or at sports games away, that I’m there for them.”

Mr. Barbetta stayed for the whole game and was a real motivator for the team to do well, although it seemed that the team was completely in the zone, making goal after goal and working as a unit.

Within the first couple of minutes of the game, THHS scored the first goal of the game off of senior captain Olivia McFadden’s corner kick. That was the beginning of the team’s frenzy of goals. Next, sophomore Kristine Guillaume made a goal off of a rebound as the ball rolled back to her from her teammate’s attempt at a goal. Despite a couple of occasional blunders, the defense held strong, led by the other senior captain Athina Mihaliadis. Everything went well in the first half, with both stellar offense and defense, until the last minute when Forest Hills junior Kayra Isdith was left alone with the ball and an open field and fired for the goal, scoring Forest Hill’s first point.

In the halftime huddle, Coach Vaselios Sioukas called the team’s defensive slip up a “terrible mistake”. But he didn’t let that mistake overshadow all the good that the team had done prior to it. He applauded the team’s hustle and encouraged them to continue their aggressiveness in the next half.

In the second half, THHS scored its third goal on a joint effort between senior Nicole Bielecki and Olivia. Nicole attempted a kick which forced the Forest Hill’s goalie to react and dive on the floor to block the ball. Olivia was trailing Nicole and saw the ball slip from the goalie’s grasp and took advantage of the situation to score the team’s third point on an open goal, putting her team up 3-1. The last and final goal for THHS was off a pass from Athina to Olivia.

Once the score was set 4-1 in favor of Townsend Harris, Coach Sioukas started to substitute other bench players in and his starters out, giving more players the opportunity to play. Not only was this game a good morale boost after some recent losses, but it also gave the bench a chance to see some action.

Olivia complimented her team’s efforts saying, “I think the team really came together. We found the team chemistry that we’re going to need for the rest of the season. Everyone was in their zone, playing their part. This is the type of soccer we have to play every game.”

The girls’ next game will be at Bayside High School, where they will be hoping for another win.