Girls varsity soccer continues their cruise through the MIAA



Girls varsity soccer continued their unbeaten season against Weymouth on Sept. 15. The 2-0 win saw goals from senior Gianna Pentland and junior Amara Ukomadu.

As fall arrived at Skyline Field, girls varsity soccer (4-0-0) looked cool and confident against formerly undefeated Weymouth (2-1-0) on Thursday Sep. 16. Brookline’s 2-0 victory felt almost routine, and while their opponent never rolled over in defeat, Weymouth rarely appeared a real threat to the Warriors’s perfect record.

Spectators were only just getting settled as Brookline’s well-organized high press held Weymouth deep in their own third. A misplaced pass gave the Warriors all they needed to find a scoring position, as sophomore forward Anna Leschly found senior and captain Gianna Pentland at the top of the box, who delivered a perfect strike into the bottom corner with the clock barely touching four minutes.

The early goal seemed to stun both sides, but Brookline looked far from satisfied. It was a number of minutes before the ball entered their defensive third in any meaningful way, as every Weymouth counter was easily snuffed out by an unbreakable back line. Each time Weymouth seemed to have any sight of a break, the chance would break down and gift the Warriors another chance to work the ball wide.

The first half was a game of half-chances and missed opportunities for Brookline, with deft interplay from senior forward Sara Gonzalez and senior fullback Maddy Moor outwitting their opponents down the left flank, only to end with an unmet cross or deflected shot.

Brookline’s set pieces were well-taken throughout the game, with senior corner specialist Alex Levy consistently floating the ball into the six-yard box. In the 18th minute, she delivered a ball that needed only the slightest of touches that was never found.

By the 25th minute, the game began to open up as Weymouth gained confidence in their attacks. Though Brookline was still the team to beat, the result didn’t look quite so secure. A handful of breaks came dangerously close to keeper senior Talia Thompson’s net, who would go on to secure her third clean sheet of the year.

Weymouth began settling into a more aggressive play style and laid in some tough tackles that were rarely called foul.. The tactic seemed to take its toll on Brookline, with any sort of creative progression often ending in a crunching two-footer.

As the referee signaled halftime, Weymouth was lucky that their early disorganization only put them a single goal behind. If they could find their form, a comeback certainly wasn’t out of the question.

However, the second half mostly proved a stalemate, with neither side creating a clear sight of goal for a long stretch after kickoff. Brookline’s defensive might was on full display.

Momentum swung ever so slightly back and forth, with Brookline and Weymouth both failing to find the back of the net on a pair of breaks midway through half.

Finally, in the 70th minute, came Brookline’s deliverance. A flowing attack sent forward junior Amara Ukomadu bursting down the flank, playing an inch-perfect ball across the face of goal that sophomore Vilena Tchernychev could hardly miss.

Brookline had an air of confidence throughout the match. Though Weymouth had their moments, they were few and far between and never truly created a sense of doubt in the outcome. Gonzalez attributed the attitude to Pentland’s early strike.

“We definitely played with more confidence,” Gonzalez said. “I felt less stressed knowing that we already had a lead and because it was still so early, we could still take chances going forward. That being said, coach [Ben Peters] reminded us at halftime to keep working hard and remember that all they need is one goal to take our win away.”

Starting undefeated is no small feat in any league. Tchernychev said that their early success has been hard-earned since day one, especially against a team as physical as Weymouth.

“One thing I’ve learned throughout this season is that our work off the field dictates how we play in our games,” Tchernychev said. “Going forward it will be important to remember that we are going to play teams that are aggressive, but as long as we’re supporting one another and putting in the effort the way we did today we will leave the field proud.”

First-year head coach Ben Peters said that putting the team first is an essential part of everyone’s game, describing the squad as a family ready to overcome any obstacle they’re given.

“We have a saying this season on GVS; flexitile. It’s a mix of being flexible and versatile, which best describes our team,” Peters said. “If you were to ask any player on this team, ‘Which position do you play?’ They would answer with, ‘Whatever position helps my team win and be successful.’ Every season will have its ups and downs but if you work together and stay patient, things will work out.”