Falmouth Academy Girls' Soccer Succumbs To Wheeler
By: Rich Maclone
Playing through unimaginable conditions, the Falmouth Academy girls’ soccer team traveled to Wheeler for a semifinal SENEISSA tournament showdown on Wednesday afternoon. Despite a raging northeaster, which started as sideways-blowing rain before turning to snow, the Lady Mariners gave a stout effort against the league’s best team, Wheeler, in Seekonk.
Wheeler, which has not suffered an in-league loss in five years, scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 25th minute. The league’s top seed was awarded a penalty kick, and buried it for the advantage. They went on to add another goal late in the first half.
FA battled to the bitter end, despite the conditions, but could not get a shot to fall in their favor as they lost for the first time in three weeks, and just the third time this season. Coach Don Swanbeck noted that his team was all-heart on a day where playing soccer was difficult, to say the least. “These were probably the worst weather conditions for a game that I have every seen. By the end of the game the rain had changed to snow and the wind chill was in the lower 20s. I was extremely proud of how our girls stuck together and kept each other’s spirits up,” he said. Even though the FA girls are out of the league playoffs, they stand a good chance of receiving a bid to the New England Prep School tournament next week.
FA finished 9-3-5 on the season and were undefeated against Class D teams. Those tournament bids will be announced on Sunday.
Earlier in the week, on Monday in the first-round of the SENEISSA tournament, the FA girls traveled to East Greenwich, Rhode Island, to take on a Rocky Hill team they had tied 1-1 on a pair of occasions. Once again just two goals were scored, but this time they were both by FA. Freshman Eliza Van Voorhis got FA on the board first with an assist by Caity Walsh. Walsh hit a diagonal wall pass to Van Voorhis on the left side of the field, about 22 yards from the goal, and the freshman fired a low left-footed ball to the far post where it caromed off the inside of the right post and into the goal.
“A few jaws dropped on that one. It stunned the crowd and quieted them down real fast,” Swanbeck said. With 16 minutes left in the game, Van Voorhis delivered a perfectly placed diagonal ball from about midfield across to the far left wing where Chloe Brake one-timed a volley with her left foot past the keeper for a 2-0 FA advantage.
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