Warriors honored at team banquet
Published in the December 9, 2015 edition
WAKEFIELD — The 2015 WMHS Warrior girls’ soccer team celebrated its season on Nov. 22 at Bear Hill Golf Club.
The event recognized the tourney-qualifying varsity team, honored six graduating seniors and congratulated five Middlesex League All-Stars. With an eye to the future of the program, the coaches introduced three new captains for 2016 and highlighted the strong crop of up-and-coming junior varsity players at the banquet.
For the 2015 Warriors, building on 2014 was not easy. The 2014 senior-laden team battled eventual Div. 2 finalist Arlington to the final minutes in a state tournament game and the spring travel team won the state championship, the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions in June.
Coaches Jess Marshall, Brian Jarmusik and Stephanie Martin set about to build the 2015 Warrior team. Captains Grace Hurley and Isa Cusack, and key seniors Sarah Grady, Jess Vinciguerra, Mia Joyce and Julia Derendal led the team.
Returning players also included juniors Emma Hickey, Emily Ryan, Brianna Smith, Kelsey Czarnota, Christina Freni, Abby Chapman and Eleni Rizos and sophomores Jillian Fiore and Hailey Lovell.
The season started in the heat of August and after tryouts and scrimmages, the coaches added juniors Alyssa Corso and Mary Gerace, sophomores Allee Purcell, Ana Lucas, Courtney Hill, Hannah Dzaidyk, Olivia Dzaidyk and Rylee Parent and freshmen Alia DePina and Christina LeBlanc.
Bringing a young team, into arguably the strongest girls’ soccer conference in the state, was a challenge. The way the Middlesex League is scheduled, the girls took the brunt of the perennial powerhouse teams in the conference early in their schedule and battled fiercely but lost more than they won.
This year, however, the Warriors were able to capitalize on two developments. First, the MIAA initiated rule that second place finishers in each league automatically qualify for the state tournament regardless of record. Second the M.L. Freedom Division was extremely balanced and competitive as Wakefield finished in a three-way tie for second place with Melrose and Stoneham which resulted in all three squads making the tourney.
In the home stretch of the season, the Warriors swept Melrose and Watertown, split with Stoneham and earned a hard-fought tie with rival Burlington. The strong finish to the season earned Wakefield a spot in the state tournament. The Warriors drew top-seeded Wilmington in the tourney. They fell behind early, but continued to fight netting a second half goal, but came up short 4-1.
At the end of the season, the Middlesex League coaches recognized the following Wakefield soccer players as All-Stars: Isa Cusack, Kelsey Czarnota, Sarah Grady, Grace Hurley and Mia Joyce.
Proud captains Grace Hurley and Isa Cusack passed the mantle of leadership to Kelsey Czarnota, Abby Chapman and Christina Freni to continue the outstanding tradition of Wakefield girls’ soccer for the 2016 season.
The Warrior girls’ soccer team also thanked to its coaches, K-12 Director of Athletics, Health, and Wellness Brendan Kent, and WMHS Athletics Administrative Assistant Kristine Collins. Also, congratulations were given to the WMHS boys’ soccer team for an outstanding season which resulted in a run to the Div. 3 North final.