Girls Soccer Beats Milton at Their Turf

Christina Freiberger

 

Sophomore Ella McMackin gets ready to throw in the ball in the game against Milton.

The Girls Varsity Soccer Team’s season had a rough start with a record that held back the team from making the tournament. To encourage the girls to keep their chins up, Coach Tompkins promised the team that he would shave his mustache if they won a game by the end of the season. After a 1-0 win against Milton on Friday October 22, Tompkins kept to his promise and shaved his mustache for the first time in 10 years.

After an unsuccessful season in the previous year, the girls were optimistically hoping to achieve a better record this season. Their preseason went well, winning many scrimmages to towns such as Bridgewater-Raynham and Sharon. When the regular season began, the Rebels were ready to kick off the new season with a win, but many games later all they had were a couple ties and many losses.

Beat down from their record, the team knew they needed a big change to turn things around. It was about half way through the season when head coach Jen Mead stepped down from her position. The team was told that Mead’s reasoning for her resignation was because of her inability to balance her work commitments with the responsibilities of the team. For the remainder of the season Coach Tompkins helped out the assistant coach, Kim Morast, in bringing the girls to their first win.

The Rebels knew this win would not come easily, as they had to work hard to set up a new formation and new plays that would help their team work well together. The new strategies were applied in the night game Friday on Milton’s turf and were a complete success. At half time, the game had no score and the tension was rising. The Rebels came so close to scoring multiple goals with junior Kim Keeman’s and sophomore Ella McMackin’s great runs toward the goal. Then, ten minutes into the second half, freshman Lauren Regan chipped the ball over the goalie’s head to bring the score to 1-0. Walpole was able to hold off Milton from scoring for the rest of the game, and raced to pig-pile the senior goalie Tess Staley after the final whistle was blown. The Rebels were excited and proud that they had defeated Milton on Milton’s senior night, at Milton’s turf, and they celebrated their victory all the way back to Walpole.

Hoping to continue their success, the Rebels traveled to Norwood on Wednesday October 27 hoping for another win. Before the game started, the Rebels knew that if they beat, or at least tied, Norwood they would prevent them from advancing on to tournament for the second year in a row. Both teams put up a good battle the whole game, but Norwood was able to get two goals in the first half. Refusing to give up, Regan, with the help of her team, scored yet another goal in her first varsity season off a ball sent in by sophomore Seana Cofsky. The Norwood Mustangs grew nervous that they would lose their lead on Walpole and picked up their game as well. Norwood senior Corey Ryan got a few opportunities to score a goal, but none of which were successful. With ten minutes left in the game, McMackin ran far post to finish a cross set up by Regan, tying the game 2-2. Just a few minutes later, the Rebels offense collaboratively worked to attempt finishing another ball. With a lot of commotion in the 18 yard box, the goalie saved the ball. The referees debated on whether the goalie was in the net with the ball or not, and eventually ruled that she was not. Far from pleased, the Rebels tried to finish off the game with a winning goal but eventually time ran out. The tie, however, did keep the Mustangs out of the tournament which was just the outcome Walpole wanted.

Walpole Girls Soccer may not have made it to tournament, but by ending on a positive note it showed that the team stuck together. After the team got their win, they knew that achievement was possible for them. A committee will be set up soon to pick a new head coach for the team. The committee will consist of boosters, teachers, players, and the athletic director. Once again searching for high hopes in the faces of these 22 girls may not be easy, but at least every one of them knows it is possible.