Reflection: Girls Varsity Soccer’s Memorable Turnaround

Strong Tourney Run Follows Bounce Back Regular Season


Gracie Person, Contributor

Let’s just say this season was something that nobody expected. Coming off a 2-11 campaign, the varsity girls soccer team knew we had challenges we would need to overcome. 

We played our first scrimmage, though, and from that moment on we knew we had clicked together and would have a great season if everybody put in the effort. Our first three games were huge to set the tone. We won those three and even beat a team we had lost to last year, 7-1. After coming off these games, we faced tough competition when we played Berlin. That was a difficult game for us as they were our first strong competitor. We lost 3-1, but that loss showed us how hard we had to push ourselves for the rest of the season. 

The highpoint of the regular season came when we played longtime senior night rival  RHAM. E.O. had not beaten RHAM on senior night in over five years. At half it was tied 0-0, but the Panthers weren’t going to settle for that, and we finished with a 3-0 win. This was the moment we knew, “Okay, we have a really great chance at making it pretty far this season.” There was still adversity. The last few games of the season we struggled, but we also had some pretty awesome wins and ties, such our 1-1 tie against Hall, a side we struggled against the past few years. We finished our regular season 10-2-4, which was so much better than last year. 

On to the states we went. The team entered as the sixth seed, just behind No. 5 Ledyard, which had a higher seed and bye game based on a tiebreaker. To be honest, coming into this tournament without a bye helped tremendously. The team had home field advantage every game in the tourney before the semifinals (held at a neutral site), which helped us because of the support we received from all our fans. We started off playing Bristol Eastern, which we had already defeated earlier in the season, so the team knew if we played our game of soccer we would win, which we did. Two days later we played Ellington, which was a close game. We were up 2-0 heading into the second half, but then there were a few moments where our team broke down as a whole and allowed the visitors to score. We walked away with a very, very scary 2-1 win. We were back at it again that Friday to play Wethersfield, again another team we had beaten previously. This time we shut them out with a 3-0 win.

Onto the semifinals we went. Everyone knew we had to give it 110 percent if we wanted to have a good outcome. So here we were, at Windsor High School, playing Simsbury, which we tied 0-0 on October 8th. This wasn’t going to be an easy game. We finished regulation 0-0, then went into two 10-minute overtimes, and then into penalty kicks, where we ended our 2021 soccer season with a painful loss. 

This was the farthest the girls team has made it in the state championship in over a decade, which is pretty crazy to consider. After this tournament, our final record was 13-3-4 –  a great accomplishment compared to last season, especially for the seniors. This season is one that will be unforgettable for all the players involved. What a great season!