Published in the October 4, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD — From the moment their name is called, to their run through a wall of cheering teammates, a hug from head coach Steph Martin and a picture with their parents, the Wakefield High girls’ soccer seniors have plenty of time to think about what this team means to them.

And with 10 seniors, those in the crowd at the Galvin Middle School on Wednesday night had plenty of time to think about what the class of 2020 means to Wakefield soccer.

Emma Lambiaso, Sarah Melanson, Abby Mondello, Kathryn Kerrigan, Winnie Mylan, Lillian Jones, Paige Dube, Lily Smith, Julia Castellano and Kyleigh Flannigan all got the moments they deserved.

Castellano, who has missed this season with a knee injury, kicked the game off, somehow playing a sharp ball back from midfield while sporting a knee-immobilizer brace and crutches. Wakefield played the ball out so she could get a sub and a well-earned ovation from the crowd.

There will be plenty of time to reflect on this senior group and true to their mentality, the Wakefield 10 got their team refocused for what was a huge game on their schedule.

Wakefield surrendered the first goal less than five minutes in after a rare miscommunication on defense. Entering the night on a three-game losing streak, the Warriors knew they needed to get one back.

Feeding off the support of a big crowd including one of the best turnouts from the Red Sea at any sporting event this season, Wakefield turned up the pressure. The Warriors ended up having nine corner kicks in the first half and five in the next 10 minutes after Burlington opened the scoring. Although they couldn’t connect on any of those, it at least gave senior Paige Dube, who takes those corners, a chance to get warmed up.

With about 23 minutes left in the half, Dube dribbled in the midfield with her head up and from a distance in which it seemed there was no choice but to pass, Dube took a shot on net and sailed it perfectly over the outstretched hands of the keeper to even it up at 1-1.

Dube took over from there, creating more and more opportunities for her teammates and the Warrior attack stayed aggressive including a nice play by Lillian Jones to draw yet another corner.

With the score still 1-1 in stoppage time, the Warriors earned a free kick from the left side of the field. It was at least halfway between the 18 and midfield, with an unofficial estimate at about 35 feet to the goal considering the diagonal angle. It could have been from the Galvin parking lot – Dube was still gonna score.

She sent a bending drive to the far post that dropped neatly into the goal for a 2-1 lead.

The fight from their seniors got the younger Warriors going in the second half.

Freshman Caroline Roberts was terrific in the midfield all game and sophomore Maeve Recene made many strong plays to get possessions back.

Sophomores Kayli Porter and Ashlee Purcell continued to push the forwards.

Purcell scored her first of two goals early in the second half, assisted by Mondello as the Warriors jumped out to a 3-1 lead.

Senior Kathryn Kerrigan had one incredible through ball to Porter stand out, but Kerrigan was terrific on the right side all game.

Senior Lily Smith created some great chances up front in the second half as well and Flannigan had some steady touches in the midfield.

Mondello, Melanson, Mylan and Lambiaso all stayed strong in back, only surrendering one more goal late in the half.

Wakefield earned another free kick, this one more straight on but still well outside the 18. Melanson stepped up to the tee this time, and struck a perfect ball that somehow got over a jumping wall and then ducked back down into the goal to make it 4-1. Two can play that game, Paige.

Melanson later started the break for Wakefield’s last goal by maintaining possession on the sideline in back and working it up the field. Porter eventually played it to Purcell who scored again to make it 5-1.

After the game, coach Martin reminisced about the seniors and their importance to the program. Frankly, it’s a story unto itself that must be told later. For now, the Warriors were happy to get the win on a night the class of 2020 will remember forever.

“It was a great game for us, we really needed the win,” said captain Lambiaso. “Senior Night is always an awesome morale booster. Hopefully it can push us forward – we want to go to the state tournament and we’re almost halfway there.”

Wakefield now has eight points with a 4-4 record. They host Woburn tonight at 5 p.m.