By Andrew Rudansky
The girls’ varsity soccer team broke their four game losing streak with a tie against the Southold/Greenport Settlers (4-4-1) in a home game at Mashashimuet Park on Saturday, October 15. The Lady Whalers have struggled all season to get tallies in the win column; they are currently sitting on a record of (1-6-1) which puts them right in last place in League VIII.
Pierson’s only win so far this year came against the McGann-Mercy Lady Monarchs (2-5-0) in a home game on September 24. Since then, the Lady Whalers have had a disappointing October to say the least.
But the record alone doesn’t tell the whole story about the team.
“We are definitely a much better team than our record shows,” said varsity Head Coach Haley Luzim, “We are evenly matched, if not better than most of the teams in the league.”
The numbers seem to back up Luzim’s declarative statement.
In four of Pierson’s six losses the game was decided by only one point, and the team has been shut out only twice all season. Compare this with league rivals Ross and Southold/Greenport, who have both been shut four times this year. McGann-Mercy and Stony Brook have both been shut out three times.
Luzim thinks that the team’s inability to get the wins comes from the lack of a star striker. While the team tends to dominate most of their games in the midfield, keeping the ball in their opponent’s territory, they have yet to find a breakout player on the roster who can take advantage of these scoring situations.
In Saturday’s tie against Southold/Greenport, it was much of the same for the pink-clad Whalers. The Whalers were wearing the new uniforms as part of a cancer awareness fundraiser, where both the Varsity and JV teams raised several hundred dollars for cancer research.
“We controlled most of the game, but could not get the ball in the net. This has been our story for most of the season,” said Luzim about Saturday’s game.
The Settlers struck first in the game getting a ball past junior keeper Julia Schiavoni in the first minutes of the game. The game was played under extremely windy conditions which stifled both teams.
Freshman Zoe Diskin answered back for the Whalers later in the first half, with an unassisted goal into the corner of the net that tied the game up, 1-1. Luzim said that Diskin, had a “stand-out game” in which she exhibited both determination and aggressiveness.
Pierson scored again in the beginning of the second half of the game off a junior Lindsay Cox corner kick. Sophomore Marley Holder scored the goal, giving Pierson its first lead, 2-1, of the game.
The Settlers wouldn’t let up however and scored the tying goal on an indirect penalty kick which made its way past Schiavoni after a scuffle in the goalie box.
The game went into single and then double overtime, but neither squad could score the winning goal, resulting in the first tie for both teams this season.
Despite the two goals, Schiavoni had a great day, tallying ten saves.
“Julia has been a great asset for the team this season,” said Luzim about her starting goalie, “along with her amazing saves in the goal, she has been a true leader.”?
Luzim also complimented here entire defensive unit, comprised of juniors Angelica Uribe, Sara Hartman, Sarah Arbia, Maricarmen Chavez and sophomore Diana Roxxi.
“Their strength has enabled out team to play more offensively,” said Luzim.
She added that sophomore Sophie Gianis has proven her mettle all season long, being one of the pillars of the team’s offensive schemes at left midfield. Luzim said that Gianis as well as the rest of the team has made progress all season long.
“The nice thing is that we are so young and will not be graduating any players,” said Luzim who is already looking to next year. “With another year under our belts, we should be a great team next year.”
The Lady Whalers next face undefeated Port Jefferson Royals (7-0-0) at home on Monday, October 24. Pierson last took on the Royals on September 22, when they lost, 5-2.