Girls soccer team falls to Nazareth
The Northampton girls soccer team had every reason to feel optimistic heading into their District XI quarterfinal contest against Nazareth last Wednesday. They had gone on the road and knocked the Blue Eagles out of the playoffs as a fifth-seeded underdog in 2022 and found themselves in the exact same situation in 2023.
However, optimism quickly turned to shock as Nazareth earned a corner kick less than one minute into the contest. The ensuing pass from the corner eluded the Northampton attempts to clear it and the ball wound up on the foot of the Blue Eagles’ Isabella Danise in front of an open net at point blank range. She tapped the ball in to put the home team up 1-0.
“That was a gut-punch. I think it sent the girls into a little bit of a tailspin and it put the momentum against us. It was pretty much exactly what we didn’t want to have happen right off the bat,” explained head coach Michael Missmer.
The K-Kids were able to withstand the Nazareth pressure for the next 29 minutes, but Danise scored again with 9:58 left in the half, this time on a solid strike from just inside the penalty area. Mikela Mooney added another goal for the Blue Eagles a minute and half later and the 3-0 margin stood as the final score.
“We’ll let this sting for a little bit and in a couple of weeks we’ll start to think about what it looks like for next year. It wouldn’t surprise anybody if next year is a banner year,” said Missmer.
In 2024, the K-Kids will return 10 of the 11 players that started against Nazareth. They also expect to have the services of 3 players that missed the district game due to illness or injury.
The program as whole is in good shape, having qualified for 5 straight district tournaments and 3 of the last 4 EPC playoffs. In the 5 years before Missmer came on board, the team had advanced to the postseason just once and had a combined 30-58-5 record.
The final season scoring stats are as follows: Chloe Watson (12 goals, 13 assists), Olivia Abrachinsky (11 g, 5 a), Anne Beenders (7 g, 5 a), Lilly Konya (7 g, 3 a), Alayna Hahn (7 g, 1 a), Brianna Caulwell (4 g, 3a), Jillian Fertal (3 g, 2 a), Emily Hudson (3 g, 1 a), Iasiah Kirk (3 g), Lilly Schlittler (2 g, 2 a), Victoria Phillips (2 g), Saige Korpics (2 g), Lindsay Reimer (1 g, 3 a), Arianna Heywood (1 g, 3 a), Brooke Petraglia (1 g, 1 a), Jianna Burgos (1 g), Yianna Gougoustamos (1 a), Kennedy Leitch (1 a), and Juliana Medei (1 a).