Penalty kicks bring down girls’ soccer

By Michael Aronson

A 4-3 loss in penalty kicks snapped the girls’ soccer team’s 13 game unbeaten streak.

The San Clemente Lady Tritons ended the season of the Wolverines, who were ranked ninth in the nation by ESPN FAB 50, in the quarterfinals of CIF on Feb. 24.

Team captain Danielle Duhl ’12 and McKynzie Dickman ’14 each suffered injuries in the match, hurting the girls’ chances of beating the seventh best team in the nation, Head Coach Richard Simms said.

Although the girls lost in the quarterfinals, goalie Reba Magier ’12 deemed the season a success because of the girls’ Mission League peformance and large number of shutouts.

“We put a lot of work in this year,” Magier said. “Even though we lost to San Clemente, we stayed in the game longer than they did. It came down to PKs, and it could have gone either way.”

Magier’s goalkeeping along with a solid defense kept the ball out of the net for 11 games. Some of the Wolverines’ shutouts include an 8-0 win over Palisades at the season’s start and 7-0 wins over Notre Dame Academy and Louisville.

“We had so many shutouts because our defense worked hard in practice, and many of the younger players stepped up and went out of their comfort zone to communicate and help me out,” she said.

The Wolverines outscored opponenents 72-14 this season. A 7-1 win over Newport Harbor in the first round and a 1-0 victory over Canyon in the second round convinced Hannah Lichtenstein ’13, one of the team’s leading scorers, that the girls had the potential for a deep run in the playoffs in only their second year in Division I.

“Obviously we would have liked to go farther in CIF, but we overcame adversity and got a lot better as the season went on,” Lichtenstein said. “Because this is only our second year in [Division] I, we definitely have potential to go farther in the future.”

The Wolverines did not lose in the Mission League this season, finishing 7-0-3. They won the close Mission League battle over the 6-3-1 Chaminade Eagles.

Forward Mackenzie Howe ’14 said the team’s national recognition and large margins of victory to the team’s talented attackers and solid defense.

“We were only able to focus so much on defense because we had such gifted attackers like Rina [Gores ’15], [Lichtenstein] and [Duhl] who did big things for us when we needed them to,” Howe said. “A win against San Clemente would have been fantastic because we wanted it so badly, but when it comes down to [penalty kicks], it’s anyone’s game.”