Girls soccer wins first playoff match of season



Candice Anvari staff writer
The score was 1-1 before the girls varsity soccer team, with six minutes left on the clock, defeated the Glendale Nitros (7-7-4) with a final score of 2-1 their first CIF-SS playoff game of the season on Tuesday, Feb. 11. 
The Normans are part of the Ocean League and Glendale is part of the Pacific League, but both teams are in Division Four in their standings. 
The tension between the Normans and the Nitros was palpable as the team members on the sidelines screamed in agitation every time the Nitros came too close to the Normans’ goal. The Nitros scored during the first half, but defense senior Emmerson Hayes scored 11 minutes after the first goal was made, with an assist from striker and midfield junior Sara Shwartz. Throughout the first half, head coach Ryan Franks encouraged his team from the sidelines to “play with urgency.” 
During the second half, the Nitros were unable to get the ball past the Normans. In the last six minutes of the match, striker and midfield junior Yasmin Kamara scored the game-winning goal with an assist from defense and striker freshman Danielle Hollander. 
Throughout the game, the Normans remembered to keep a watchful eye on Nitros’ senior capitan Zoe Charum because of her exceptional stats. Charum scored the first goal for the Nitros, making Franks believe she was a “dangerous” player.  
“Coming in we knew that number seven was their go-to player, so we wanted to make sure that we double-teamed her and we had her in our focus,” Franks said. “She’s one of the best players we’ve played all year, but after she scored a goal we shut her down pretty good.” 
Striker and midfield junior Esther Goldberg and striker sophomore Talia Sarraf thought their team played very well against the Nitros. However, Sarraf encountered problems with the referee during the game. 
“I think our team did really well, but I’m a little mad because every time I play aggressive, the ref will come up to me and tell me my name is in his book,” Sarraf said. 
Franks believed his team was very happy with the way they played and the energy they put forth toward the game. 
“We try to use high energy, high intensity and high pressure into every game, which I feel like we were able to bring into this game,” Franks said. “Glendale was a good team. They were technical and they were able to keep some possession on us, but we did what we needed to do to get the win.” 
The Normans next match was against the Santa Paula Cardinals (10-8-3) on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. The Normans lost 0-1.