Wolfpack Girls Varsity Soccer Battles Rocky Hill

November 4, 2011, at Hyde School

Hyde School – 3
Rocky Hill School – 4

The Hyde School Girls Varsity Soccer Team closed its season with an outstanding game against SENE opponent Rocky Hill School.  After falling 7 – 1 during the first game of the season, the WolfPack showed the tremendous improvement and cultivated team chemistry that enabled every player to leave the pitch for the final time of 2011 with pride.

With incredible wind on the turf field, the Rocky Hill team was able to take advantage of the conditions with the gusts at its back during the first half.  This caused some trouble for the Hyde defense, as all goal kicks, goalie punts, and clearing balls got caught in the wind.  Just seven minutes into the game, Rocky Hill’s outstanding offensive player used the wind at her back to send a through ball into the 18 yard box, soaring over the heads of the Hyde defenders and dropping right to the feet of another Rocky Hill player who meticulously placed the ball into the back of the net.  Unable to push through the wind gusts in their faces, the Hyde players failed to rally properly, allowing a similar play to take form just eight minutes later.  Few minutes passed when Rocky Hill was awarded a corner kick, which the Hyde defense cleared to the outside.  Though a tactically sound decision, an opposing player collected the ball and sent an incredibly impressive, blasting shot from well outside the 18 yard box into the far upper corner of the net.  With a significant deficit on the scoreboard, Hyde’s standout leader Bryn Nolan ’12 was not willing to close out her high school career without a fight.  As the clocked ticked below the ten minute mark, Nolan received a great through ball from Becca Katz ’12 and then took on two Rocky Hill defenders.  Heart and grit evidenced, Nolan nailed the ball into the back of the net, giving Hyde a momentum shift as the first half came to a close.

The WolfPack was glad to have the wind behind them throughout the second half as they completely dominated play and controlled the ball for the majority of the half.  In her season debut after knee surgery, Katherine Hagood ’13 took on Rocky Hill’s standout player, eliminating her impact on the field.  Hannah Peters ’13 continued to show her composure as an athlete while Gillian Weintraub ’12 helped maintain aggression and support defensively.  Marcy Altobello ’13 kept the structure of the back line with her strong and positive leadership.  Also in her season debut, Alina Donnelly ’13 was supportive and hard working in the midfield while Marlena Reeves ’14 continually provided long runs, ball movement, and defensive help.  Yi Yang ’12 continued her incredible improvement by playing multiple roles on the field and contributing from all of them and Aine Zaniewski ’14 played a crucial role on offense.  Becca Katz ’12 and Bryn Nolan ’12 gave Hyde the heart and soul it needed to succeed.  Even with incredible play, Rocky Hill was able to sneak a very surprising goal into the net with about 20 minutes to play, but the WolfPack rallied and once again regained control of the game.  With threat after threat on the Rocky Hill goal, Hyde continually came up unlucky on the scoreboard.

With just 2 minutes and 22 seconds to play, Katz sent another great through pass to Nolan, which the Rocky Hill goalie handled outside of the penalty box.  Because of this, Hyde was awarded a direct kick from the top of the box.  With the hustle of Nolan, the Rocky Hill defense and goalie failed to reset from the error and Nolan took the kick, placing it comfortably into the net.  Seconds later, Katzinterrupted the Rocky Hill kick off, sending a great pass to Kelly Umutoni ’12, who found Nolan at the corner of the 18 yard box.  With 2 minutes and 8 seconds to go in the game, Nolan collected the pass and drilled it into the far corner of the goal, earning a hat-trick and a chance for Hyde to tie the game.  Although the WolfPack could not find such karmic retribution in the final 2 minutes, it was an amazing showcase of resilience, belief in self, and teamwork that empowered such a fantastic close to the season.

Though the team was unable to come away with a win today, or many on the season, with the way in which the team came together, played until the final whistle, and emitted faith in selves and teammates, no coach could be prouder of a group of young women.