The Knights-Cavs rivalry has been an exciting one this year.
In their April 14 matchup, freshmen Lia Kaufman and Abby LaComb combined for four goals in the second half to propel the girls to a 5-4 comeback victory.
The second time around, on April 24, the Buckingham Charter Knights took advantage of Cavs’ injuries and missing starters. Senior Jenny Kerbs specifically highlighted the loss of defensive player, senior Emma Belliveau. Buckingham got out to an early first-half lead and won the game outright, 6-2.
So when the girls were set to face the Knights again on May 5, it looked like it’d be one for the ages.
The game that decided first place in league. Last game before playoffs. Both teams tied in the standings. Winner gets priority playoff seeding.
But there was only one problem for the Cavs – well, eight actually.
Eight Cavs weren’t present, including starters senior Julia Owaidat, juniors Natalie Brown and Kaeleigh Valverde and freshman Michaela Chen.
A mix of injuries, illness and AP exams kept all eight out of the game.
So with the Cavs missing more key players than in their April 24 matchup, it was no surprise the girls suffered an even bigger loss, 7-0, this time around.
It started off fairly evenly, both teams playing passively and clearing the ball onto their opponent’s side for the first 10 minutes.
But slowly the Knights began to control the ball on the Cavs’ side of the field and dictate the pace of the game.
Buckingham freshman Lindsey Cole took a shot from the right side of the field, but it didn’t have enough power on it and rolled into the post.
Immediately after the ball was cleared, the Knights took possession again. They worked the ball around outside of the box before getting the ball once again to Cole, this time cutting across the middle.
She was in a one-on-one situation with freshman goalie Bella Mathisen. Cole, with the advantage, launched the ball into the upper left side of the net, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead.
But the Knights weren’t done. They continued to push their lead and use their momentum.
Once again, the Knights controlled the Cavs’ side and worked the ball around. Inevitably, the ball found its way to Cole, who took a shot from the left corner.
The ball hit the top-right corner post but was rebounded by Knights’ junior Carina Bosse.
Bosse found Cole, once again in the middle, for another easy goal, increasing their lead, 2-0.
Unfortunately after the Knights scored their second goal, rain began to pour. Although students ran off the field for cover to shield themselves from the downpour, parents endured the storm until the end.
But the score itself tells the story of the game. The Knights continued to dominate the half and went on to score three more goals.
LaComb said that even though the girls were down, they kept playing.
“Five goals is a lot,” she said. “I hoped we could prevent more goals or score at least one goal (of our own).”
Unfortunately, the Cavs’ defense couldn’t hold up. The Knights went on to score two more goals in the second half while shutting out the Cavs.
Sophomore Nina Dym said the large point differential affected the team mentally.
“The more they scored, the more discouraged we got,” Dym said. “Ending the first half down 0-5 had us all with our heads down.”
Dym also noted the girls needed to make smarter plays.
But the sloppy play may also have been due to the weather, according to Kerbs.
“The rain made it more difficult to control the ball,” Kerbs said.
Even with the loss, the girls had secured a playoff berth with their May 3 win over the Cristo Rey Saints and are expected to get a first-round bye.
With a week before playoffs, LaComb said the girls need to improve on passing and endurance.
And everyone needs to be there.
The playoff schedule is yet to be determined.
—By Jake Longoria