Photo/ Sophie Burns
Although COVID-19 did not allow the girls’ soccer team to have the normal season they anticipated, they were still able to go undefeated through all of their eight regular season games. They played only three towns— Weymouth, Braintree and Milton— to limit their contact with other players from other schools but still get the experience of a normal season. However, a variety in competition was not the only way COVID-19 affected their season.
“We had no throw-ins, limited options for corner kicks and no real physical action with our opponents,” senior captain Jordan Larkin said. “At times it did not feel like real soccer or a real season because of the restrictions.”
Despite the challenges, the girls were able to make the most of their games and their time together as a team.
“During our preseason everyone worked hard and got to know each other which created a good connection between our team,” junior captain Sophie St. George said.
The team owes a lot of their success this season to their chemistry and ability to work well together on the field.
“We were able to mold together as a team really easily from the beginning of the season,” Larkin said. “Our whole team had played together at some point throughout our years in soccer, even as kids, so I think that was an advantage that played a key role into being a complete team on the field this season.”
Within their modified season, the team’s toughest competition in the regular season was Weymouth. After tying 1-1 against Weymouth the first time, Walpole was matched up with them and they went on to beat them 4-1 in the following game.
“Winning by that much the last time we played them showed how much our team had grown and how we were able to overcome tough challenges we faced when playing them previously,” Larkin said.
Another difference the girls had to get used to this season was their transition to a new coaching staff.
“Our new coaches, Mr. Maclean and Mrs. McCarthy, really helped us take our game to the next level,” junior captain Catie Powderly said. “They created a positive atmosphere at every game and practice and pushed all of us to be the best.”
Next year Powderly and St. George will go on to lead their team again as seniors.
“The whole team is very excited and hopeful for next season,” Powderly said. “I think we made a lot of improvements this year and cannot wait to hopefully have a normal year next season where we can show off our talent to more teams.”