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Girls' soccer misses state tournament, optimistic for next year

Junior Kira Matthews guards the ball from a Brookline opponent, Monday, Sept 21. Photo by Josh Shub-Seltzer

by Blake Krantz
Girls’ soccer, 4-10-2, improved in both wins and points this season, although the team failed to qualify for the state tournament for the second straight year.
Despite five season-ending injuries this season, senior Eliza Bresler, a captain with seniors Katie Daniel and Maya King, praised the Tigers’ ability to remain unphased and consistently persevere.
“The team was very positive throughout every game even though it wasn’t the best season. They did very well moving on from a loss and focusing on the next game and putting everything behind them,” Bresler said.
This positivity was evident in the second half of the Tigers’ 1-1 tie against Milton in September, according to English teacher Alicia Carrillo, the coach. The team trailed Milton 1-0 at halftime in the game before the girls “picked each other up,” as Carrillo put it, because “the idea that we could come back was exciting” in hard-fought games.
Carrillo also pointed to the Tigers’ game against Needham, the league champions, halfway through the season as a turning point, in which Needham’s coach was forced to call a timeout midway through the game due to his surprise of “how well North is playing,” as Carrillo explained.
Throughout the year, “girls stepped into spots and positions that they usually didn’t play” because the team “needed people to fill positions,” according to Bresler. In particular, Bresler cited juniors Summer Dias and Alex Nugent as key contributors who split halves as goalie and were “amazing and courageous replacements that performed very well.”
In a long and challenging season that began in August and ended Thursday night against Framingham, Carrillo ultimately believes that the team accomplished the Tigers’ goal to “be better tomorrow than we were yesterday.”
The team also provided a “cohesive, concerted effort” in its final game, according to Carrillo, despite missing several players in the 3-0 victory.
Carrillo also said she enjoyed “watching the girls improve their technique and understanding” of the game one week to the next, an improvement that helped the team “know what the expectations” are for next year.
The Tigers’ three captains will graduate this spring, players who consistently “modeled effective positive leadership” in Carrillo’s eyes, an illustration of what leadership “sounds like, looks like, and feels like.”
Fortunately, Carrillo is confident that younger players can and will step up and fill those leadership roles after the examples of Bresler, Daniel, and King.
This season, Bresler also emphasized the importance of Carrillo in what was her first year as the team’s head coach, a consistent presence which will hopefully translate to further success in the future.
“I think the team has a lot of potential and Mrs. Carrillo did a great job in her first year as coach. She always had confidence in us and pushed us to be our best self. She made a great positive impact on the program in her first year,” Bresler said, “I think they can definitely be a great team.”

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