Lady Raiders defend against Westfield with a scoreless tie

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Josh Axelrod

The Lady Raiders challenged Westfield’s soccer team in what was ultimately a non-scoring but not uneventful game.
 
Although this tie breaks the team’s undefeated record, the game still demonstrated the girls’ strong dynamic and capabilities. Senior Caroline Babis and junior Christina Rogers were in full force, driving the ball across the field, leading to many close attempts on the rival goal.
 
Junior Andrea Leitner was also playing at peak performance, viciously stopping every ball that came her way. The goalkeeper could be heard barking commands for specific formations and stronger defense at her fellow teammates. She was unbreakable, especially in the second half, catching balls left and right; the crowd simultaneously let out a sigh of relief as she dove for a close block and protected the unpenetrated Raiders goal.
 
Sophomore Taylor Diggs was injured in the second half, and limped off the field. This possible morale-bruising change of events did not stop the team from communicating amongst each other and playing their best. If the group’s dynamic was crippled by Diggs’ injury, it didn’t show as the Raiders tackled double overtime with a perseverant and unflinching approach.
 
Coach Kevin Ewing was disappointed in losing the perfect record to a tie, but still admired the determined spirit of his team. “I was happy with the way they played,” he said, “They played hard all game.”
 
However, Ewing believes the team missed a lot of important chances for victory and “finishing our opportunities,” will be the focus of practices in upcoming weeks.
 
Senior Jackie Fahrenholz had a slightly more optimistic view on the girls’ performance and said, “we played our hearts out with high intensity.”
 
The Lady Raiders will face off with Arthur L. Johnson this weekend, bringing the same strong defensive energy that they maintained in the Westfield game and hopefully cashing in on their opportunities during Counties.
 

photos by Ciara Richardson