After dropping their previous game against Del Mar in a close contest (0-1), the Chargers were matched up against the Branham Bruins on Sept. 5. The Chargers made several valiant attempts on Branham’s goal and played excellent defense throughout the game. It was a hard fought contest by both teams, but the Bruins ultimatelyprevailed with a 6-0 win.
In the first half, the Chargers jumped out with a strong defense. Branham made multiple attempts to put the ball into the net, but goalie Riya Shah ‘21 was able to block each one of them. In fact, Shah was able to block six shots on goal before a Branham score with 25 minutes left in the first half. In one possession, the girls’ defense made a stop in front of the goal and passed up the field to Samantha Chock ‘21. Chock took a huge hit and sent the ball flying down the field to Emma Zettler ‘19. Zettler maneuvered around three Bruin defenders and found an open space to take a shot at goal. Her shot was accurate and right on spot, but the Bruin goalie made a quick move andcame up with a timely stop.
Things got off to a rocky start for the Chargers in the second half. The girls started off down 0-3 and incurred three penalties within a minute of each other. The Bruins capitalized on the three penalties with five attempts on goal and one score. Holding their heads high, the Chargers refused to go down without a battle. Over the following 15 minutes, the girls relentlessly attacked on offense and showed exceptional prowess on defense. The Branham Bruins did not get a chance to score until the waning minutes of the second half, but ultimately triumphed in a deeply contested game with a score of 6-0.
After the game, the Chargers sat down for a team debrief with captains Raquel Long ‘19, and Zettler, evaluating how their plays aligned with the season’s goals.
“Our main goal this season is to improve our technical skills and bond together as a team. I think that a cooperative and cohesive team will allow us to work well together on the field and have fun during the season,” Hannah Zandi ‘20 said.
Coming into this season, the team was dealing with a difficult loss of 12 graduated seniors. However, the players from last year’s Junior Varsity (JV) team were able to fill the shoes of each of the 12 graduated seniors. For example, Emma Pender ‘21, Olivia Kukar ‘21 and Zandi from last year’s JV team took a step up to anchor the defense along with Long. Head Coach Lorraine Combs hopes that initiatives such as the one happening on defense will add a breath of fresh air to the team.
“ We had 12 graduate last year and the gap they left was very large. We are working hard on upping our game to be able to become a stronger team. This year’s team is fairly small so every girl is getting lots of playing time” Combs said.
The girls will try to capitalize on the potential of their budding team and work together to pursue the heightsthat they set out to achieve this season