Lady Pirates’ Soccer to Face Haddonfield in Fight For Sectional Title

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Zach Mackiewicz, Staff Writer

Championship season is officially upon us as the 2019 Cinnaminson Girls’ soccer team is on the cusp of a sectional title.

After a rousing 1-0 overtime victory against Delsea, the second-seeded Pirates will face top-seeded Haddonfield this Thursday, hoping to keep their deep playoff run alive.  Their championship hopes are rooted in a defensive effort that has provided consecutive single goal victories, as the back five for the Pirates has been their anchor all season long.  On top of their backline, the Pirates are confident that their top-down lineup is talented enough to achieve their dreams of capturing a championship. While the girls bring talent all over the field, they also believe that they have great chemistry on and off the field. 

“Most of our girls have amazing individual talent, but I believe our bond this year has been stronger than years prior, thus we all can effectively collaborate to create unified plays on the ball,”  senior defender Rachel Wixted explained. “The trust in one another is evident on the field.”

As the length and stress of playoffs wears on the team, the Pirates are focusing on team unity as they prepare for their toughest test yet – the top-seeded Haddonfield.  

“We all feel like a family, and we are all building off of a big win versus Delsea,” junior Simone Pacetti shared.

While the Pirates defense has certainly been a strength, the Bulldogs have been near-perfect defensively, allowing only one goal on their way to the final leg of the tournament.  While this should certainly set the stage for a defensive showdown, Haddonfield’s offense has been just as impressive, as the Bulldogs have outscored their competition 17-1. The Pirates, however, are prepared to put up a fight.

“Everyone is all in,” Sarah Bergan shared. “We’re ready and excited to win.”

The team got off to a good start to the season behind their senior captains Grace Frasso, Meredith Updike, and Sarah Bergan.  After posting an impressive 13-5-2 regular season record, the Pirates defeated Oakcrest and West Deptford before facing Delsea in the semi-final match.  There, the team shut-out one of South Jersey’s best offensive players in Peyton Gilmore, who scored a shocking 33 goals on the season. This accomplishment requires a team effort, but the senior leadership has held the group together through it all.

“Our team captains are Meredith Updike, Grace Frasso, and Sarah Bergan, and all three are experienced varsity players who were here last year for the playoff run and an integral part of the team who have really shown a lot of leadership throughout the summer, varsity head coach Brandon Bond states.  “[They got] this team ready to play and you could tell the girls respect that and rally behind them.” 

While the team has relied on its senior talent, they are also in good hands when the seven seniors leave after this season. They have a lot of young talent, and coach Bond believes the team can continue to compete moving forward in the future. But right now the seniors have good chemistry, and work well together.

The Pirates will face the Bulldogs at Haddonfield High School at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 7th.