Girls soccer team craving the rave, but not the win

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Senior Nicole Bielecki races after the ball. Photo taken <br /><figcaption id=Photo taken by: Maya Grodzka

On Friday, September 27, the girls soccer team played Benjamin Cardozo High School on their home field at Kissena Park. Once again they were missing players, this time not due to injuries, but instead to the senior mixer, and the Hawks lost 2 to 0 to Cardozo.

Missing senior captains Olivia McFadden and Athina Mihaliadis, who were both attending this year’s senior mixer, senior Nicole Bielecki and junior Stephanie Yeh took charge and directed the team during the warmup drills. Later, when the referees called both team’s captains up for the pregame chat Coach Vaselios Sioukas sent Nicole Bielecki and junior Nicole Gleizer to shake hands with the other team’s captains. Although captains Athina and Olivia were missed, Friday’s game provided a good sneak peek as to who may succeed Olivia and Athina as next year’s captains.

Even without their captains, the girls were determined to put up a fight against Cardozo. As usual, Nicole Gleizer tried to pump her team up with words of encouragement and excitement. Sophomore Dina Goodger even brought a speaker to play music to get the team into their zone. Coach Sioukas went through his usual pre-game routine, and the game was set to start.

In the first half, sophomore goalie Hallee Pell Brown had a plethora of great saves, allowing only two goals in out of 18 attempts. Even though she was well-defended, Cardozo junior Stacy Gomez made Cardozo’s first goal. Unlike the first, Cardozo’s second goal was an easy one, a product of THHS’s defensive breakdown.

By halftime, the score was 2 to 0, in favor of Cardozo, and Coach Sioukas was visibly frustrated with his team. He told the girls, “It’s the same story as last game. They’re playing with more hustle, more desire.” Although frustrated, Coach Sioukas attempted to be optimistic about the team’s chance at winning, saying, “We can still take this game. It’s only two, nothing. Of course we can.”

The second half started off with a save from Hallee. THHS’s defensive line up tightened up, but struggled to keep the ball away from their goal, with Cardozo maintaining possession of the ball for most of the second half. This was apparent in Cardozo’s 21 attempts on the goal, compared to THHS’s measly three.

Without many offensive breaks, the game looked like it was coming to an end until senior captain Athina joined her team on the field for the last fifteen minutes. As soon as Athina stepped on, her teammates brightened and cheered her name. Still, Athina’s presence wasn’t enough to buy THHS a win.The game ended with yet another save by Hallee, making that her 70th save of the season so far. The game ended 2 to 0, in favor of Cardozo.

During the postgame huddle, Coach Sioukas talked to his team seriously about playoffs, describing the rest of their season as filled with “winnable games,” but that they needed to win them if they wanted to make the playoffs. He said, “There’s five playoff spots and nine teams. We just have to beat Arts and Business.” Currently, the team’s record is two wins to five losses.

The girls’ next game is this Sunday, September 29, at Forest Hills High School, where they will face William C. Bryant High School, who has only won one game this season. It is a must-win game for the team and an easy way to end their three game losing streak.