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The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Girls’ soccer draws with Sequoia in riveting last minutes of play

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Joelle Huysmans
In the first minutes of the game, sophomore midfielder Gaelle Foy heads the ball.

A look at the Peninsula Athletic League standings before the girls’ soccer’s matchup with Sequoia High School on Tuesday, Jan. 16 was enough to know that it was going to be a good game. The Panthers (7-3-1 overall) and the Ravens (5-3-2 overall) were tied at the top of the league with two wins each headed into Tuesday’s matchup, and the final score — a 2-2 tie — proved those standings accurate and left the teams neck-and-neck for first place. 

“We knew it was going to be a tough game going into it,” freshman Hannah Goldberg said. “But I think we all worked really hard and I’m proud of what we accomplished.”

A tie may not be a victory, but the Panthers maintained the lead for the majority of the game and performed remarkably against their skilled Ravens opponents — not to mention the unfavorable weather conditions due to the rainfall. From the moment the game started, the Panthers demonstrated drive and determination, dominating possession and showing aggression to the ball.  Thanks to an assist by senior center midfielder Cora Haggarty, senior defender Elise Spenner was able to get Burlingame on the scoreboard only six minutes into the game. Not long after, senior defender Kaylee Ng drove into the box and earned a penalty kick, which she buried in the back of the net to extend the Panther’s lead. 

“We were really well prepared [for this game],” head coach Andrew Flaherty said. “We were at 2-0 inside the first 25 minutes so the preparation was definitely there. This is a great example of what one of our harder games looks like for us but I think we managed it really well.”

As the first half of the game came to a close, Sequoia managed to grab a loose ball and find the far right side of the goal, narrowing the deficit to one. For the remainder of the game, the two teams exchanged quality opportunities to score,  including a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Gaelle Foy. On defense, senior goalkeeper Alyssa Smith made a few notable saves on close scoring chances from the Ravens. 

In the closing minutes of the game, a victory was close in reach for the Panthers, but the Ravens scored another goal with just two minutes remaining, ending the game in a tie. 

“It’s a tough one to swallow for sure,” Haggarty said. “We only had minutes more and we would have won but it’s soccer, it’s not pretty and it’s not always a kind sport. But that’s why you just have to wake up and be ready to do the same thing the next day.”

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  • Sophomore midfielder Stella Newman runs to get the ball to prevent her opponent from scoring.

  • Senior defender Kaylee Ng fights for the ball against an attacker from the opposing team.

Flaherty recognizes that the ability to finish a game properly is a critical aspect for success in soccer, which is why he implements time-based drills into the team’s training. During an exercise, he often says that they have a minute, 90 seconds or 10 seconds remaining to get players thinking about time management.

“You never want to tie a game with a minute to go,” Flaherty said. “When we talked at the end, we said as a group, we should probably be disappointed about the outcome. That’s a game where we worked so hard and played so well so it didn’t feel so great to give up a tying goal at the last minute. But we can learn from our mistakes and hopefully next time it won’t happen again.”

After a tie against Menlo-Atherton High School on Thursday, Jan. 18, the Panthers have just one more game in the first round of league play, meaning they will face Sequoia again in less than three weeks. For players like Goldberg, the hard work is always worthwhile since she gets to experience it alongside her teammates.

“[Soccer season] is a lot of fun,” Goldberg said. “You definitely have to put a lot of work into it but spending time together is so fun. I’m the only freshman on the team so I guess I’m at a disadvantage because everyone has already played with each other before but they are all so nice and it’s a great team.”

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Joelle Huysmans, Diversity Coordinator
Joelle Huysmans is a sophomore at Burlingame High School and Diversity Coordinator for The Burlingame B as a second-year journalism student. Outside of school, she enjoys playing tennis, running in track and field, spending time with friends, playing board games with her family, and traveling across the world to discover foreign cultures. Her profound passion for reading and writing has led her to this class and she is excited to see where it will take her next.
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