LYNN- Brookline girls varsity soccer (GVS) took the field in the bitter cold against Andover looking for a repeat of last year’s title as Division 1 North Sectional Champions. The cold weather was not enough to slow down the team as they continued their playoff run with a decisive 2-0 win.
Both teams were scoreless after the first half. Although the Warriors had dominated possession, they were unable to convert to a goal until the second half.
According to senior and captain Maya Leschly, Brookline took halftime to refocus, restrategize and adjust to Andover’s 3-6-1 formation.
“They played a really defensive formation, and so in the first half it was hard for us to create chances because they sat back. We tried to problem solve at halftime, and I thought people did a really good job,” Leschly said.
According to junior Sam Friedman, a goal with 35 minutes left in the game by senior and captain Eleanor Fisher really changed the momentum in favor of Brookline.
“I think a lot of people were hesitating to take shots because everyone wanted to be so close to the goal, but Eleanor took one from outside the box and she scored, and it led to a lot of other opportunities,” Friedman said.
As their offense adjusted to Andover’s defensive formation, GVS was able to shut down Andover’s attack with a shut-out by sophomore goalie Juliana Anastopoulos and dominant performances from defenders senior Bailey Cohen, junior Lindsey Mahoney and senior and captain Serena Sink.
The game’s result was sealed with a late goal from Friedman off a cross from Fisher. This single touch within the box to the back of the net was Friedman’s first playoff goal.
“I’ve never scored a goal during playoffs, and I screamed and ran into the middle of the field,” Friedman said. “It’s so cool. It’s such a good feeling.”
GVS will play on Wednesday, Nov. 20 against the undefeated Bishop Feehan team in Norwell. The winner of that match will move onto the state championship game.