Posts wins over Burlington, Melrose
WAKEFIELD — Is the Wakefield Memorial High girls’ soccer team turning the corner? The Warrior players and head coach Jessica Iosua sure hope so.
Wakefield has won its past two games with the latest being a 2-1 triumph over Burlington on Tuesday night at Walton Field. The victory was the second straight for the Warriors who blanked rival Melrose, 1-0, on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Pine Banks.
The two wins came after a 4-0 setback against Div. 2 power Wilmington on Monday, Sept. 22 at Wilmington High School.
Wakefield is now 3-5-0 in the Middlesex League Freedom division.
Details of the Burlington game were unavailable at press time.
Melrose was a much better game than the Wilmington contest was as the girls came to play and understood the severity of the game said Iosua. Wakefield controlled most of the play throughout.
Jillian Raso, a senior tri-captain, proved that she deserved her playing time with consistent hard work and creativity down the right line. She assisted Abby Chapman’s goal. Chapman, a sophomore, received Raso’s cross and sent a fast solid shot into the back of the Melrose net from just inside the 18 yard line.
Grace Hurley and Kelsey Czarnota, a junior and a sophomore, also made comebacks as they both played extremely well in their respective positions.
Nikki Galli, a senior tri-captain, continued to be a leader on the field and is extremely effective in the stopper position as she is able to contribute to the offense through frequent switches and runs upfield in addition to her natural defensive skills.
Junior Isa Cusack is a solid sweeper with a tremendous clear and a nose for containment and tackle. Again, sophomore Christina Freni and freshman Jillian Fiore were on point on the outside of the back line.
Senior Kayla Geaney, a center midfield, is proving to be one of the best players in the league. According to Iosua, she continues to win the ball in 50-50 contests and her footwork and read on the movement of her teammates is unmatched. She is outstanding when she plays to her potential and this year we see her diligence from end line to end line.
Wakefield nearly scored again as Mia Joyce, a junior, scored on a gorgeous long ball shot from the 18, but it was taken away on an offside call. Iosua feels that Joyce is essential in determining the course of Wakefield’s games as well. Joyce has the ability to win the ball and set up the offense with solid dribbling, passes and runs down the left side.
The Wilmington contest was an example of the Warriors team not playing up to their potential.
“We were very disappointed in the entire course of the game, from start to finish. Our defense throughout the field was at its weakest,” said Iosua. “We allowed them to easily receive the ball, turn and find each other through the middle. Therefore they were able to penetrate simply, quickly and often.”
Wakefield made a lot of changes to positions and players for the second half, which did make a slight difference for its offensive movement. After the game, the Warriors determined that some of those changes would be permanent, such as switching Cusack to sweeper, Galli to stopper, using Czarnota in the striking spot, Hurley to left midfield and junior Sarah Grady to right midfield.
Freni and Fiore, both newcomers this year, established themselves as forces to be reckoned with and are challenging for playing time and to start.
The Warriors face Arlington this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. in a crossover game against a Middlesex League Liberty division at Walton Field.