Boys and girls varsity soccer teams win league games against Leuzinger Olympians, progress to CIF

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Photo by: Mia Fienberg

Candice Anvari co-editor-in-chief

The boys varsity soccer and girls varsity soccer teams both celebrated their wins against the Leuzinger Olympians on Jan. 31. The final score for the boys was 2-2, while the final score for the girls was 3-0. As a result of their wins against Leuzinger, both teams will progress to the CIF playoffs. 

Last year, the girls soccer team progressed to the playoffs after winning their league game. 

However, last year, the boys soccer team did not progress to the playoffs after losing their league game. Captain senior Alex Manavi believes that the team’s desire to progress to playoffs this year added some “extra pressure” to the game. 

“For me, because it’s my senior year and I’m one of the captains, this year as a whole has been very special for soccer and I wanted it to be great and cherish every moment. So, this year, we made it our goal to try to win the league,” Manavi said. “This game meant a lot to me because of how much work we’ve put in over the last four years for the team and because I wanted us to reach the goals that we set for ourselves.” 

Although the boys soccer team did “pull through” and win the game, Coach Rodrigo Donoso was worried during the first half because the team was “struggling.” 

“Overall, I thought the first half was sub-par for them. Then, in the second half, they really changed their attitude and energy, and gave themselves a real chance to win,” Donoso said. “I thought their performance in the second half was worthy of all the effort they’ve put in over the course of the season.” 

For the girls soccer team, senior night took place before the game against Leuzinger began. Although captain senior Mimi Kessler was “excited” to play, she was also “sad.” 

“We had our senior night celebration before the game and it made me emotional,” Kessler said. “I remember the senior nights of previous graduates and I always knew that I was going to be in their position one day, but I never truly understood the feeling and it was just sad.”

Photo by: Mia Fienberg

Kessler believes that part of the reason they won their game was because of their teamwork. 

“I think the aggression and communication was on point in this game. Everyone was talking on the field, which is a vital point of the game. Along with that, we were playing against a very physical team, and although that team is not that big in size, we still pushed the other team around as if we were [a bigger team],” Kessler said. 

During the game, Coach Ryan Franks was especially fond of the moment junior captain Katrina Chong broke the single season scoring record, which was 26 goals as of 2011.

“I truly couldn’t be more proud of Katrina Chong for this accomplishment,” Franks said. “Katrina is one of the most hardworking and most dedicated soccer players I’ve ever coached at Beverly, and that says a lot. Most importantly, Katrina’s teammates look up to her as a leader and a role model, and they were so happy for her as well.”

Kessler also admired Chong’s dedication during the game.

“I think my teammates put their all into the game, especially Katrina. She wanted to ensure the seniors ended the league season on a win,” Kessler said.

Although Kessler found the game to be bittersweet, she was still incredibly happy when they won their league game. 

“After the end whistle blew, I was filled with joy. I immediately ran onto the field with my teammates, who were screaming so loud out of pure happiness,” Kessler said. 

Similar to Kessler, Manavi’s favorite moment of the game was close to the end.

“My favorite moment in the game was when we were 2-0 with about 10 minutes left in the game. I got fouled in the box because of a penalty kick, but my teammate Giulian scored the penalty kick, but then he got fouled and then scored again,” Manavi said. “When we tied the game with about three minutes left, that was probably one of the best moments.” 

Overall, both Manavi and Donoso were “incredibly proud” of the team and their efforts. 

“I’m very proud of the team’s attitude, and how they were able to adjust in the game to match the competitiveness of the game,” Donoso said. “It was good to see that they were able to grow during the game and get the result that they worked so hard for.” 

The boys soccer team will have their next game against the Geffen Academy Bruins (9-0-1) on Feb. 4 at 5:15 p.m. The girls soccer team will have their first CIF game on Feb. 12. 

Stay tuned for more updates as CIF reveals the playoff dates and the games progress.

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