SPORTS — February 9, 2021 at 12:39 pm

MSD women’s varsity soccer prevails in district championship

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District Domination The MSD girls varsity soccer team poses with the District Championship trophy, in which they earned after their victory against the Coral Glades Jaguars. Photo courtesy of Emily Burke

On Monday, Feb. 8, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas women’s varsity soccer team entered the district championship against the Coral Glades Jaguars. The Eagles were looking to keep the momentum that was earned in their previous victory, in which they won 8-0 in the district semifinals against the Coral Springs Colts.

The Eagles had high expectations for the season and Monday’s game, as they continued to strive towards becoming district champions for two years in a row. 

“We were very eager to win and are very excited to become district champs,” forward Alexis Reigal (23) said. “We are all really close friends and it’s a great experience that we share together.”

The game began at 5 p.m. at Coral Springs High School, and the competing teams kept the opposition in check. Throughout the majority of the first half, both teams played tight defense, allowing no goals to be scored. 

Eventually, the Jaguars’ keeper mishandled a ball, allowing it to enter the Eagles’ possession. Midfielder Kendall Slack (18) was able to take advantage of this chance and chip the ball into the net for the Eagles’ first goal. The Eagles were able to take the lead, though Slack was injured while scoring the goal and had to come off the field.

“I was mostly trying to push everyone up, be goal-hungry, and do what I could to be aggressive in the box,” Slack said. “At first, I knew I scored, but I then realized I was hurt and had to sit down. I didn’t want to get off the field, but I had to.”

Slack’s goal was the lone score of the first half for both teams, as they entered halftime with a 1-0 lead. Although they had a short lead, the Eagles were far from content with their position at the half. Their rigid motivation pushed them towards improving later in the game, that of which they would achieve.

“[The team] talked at halftime and realized that we only had one goal going into the second half, so we knew that we had to put more goals in the back of the net. We were more anticipating and hungry for scoring,” Slack said.

At the start of the second half, the Eagles became far more aggressive and were pushing the Jaguars deep into their own side of the field. After a few attempts to shoot, a deflected shot landed at the feet of forward Francesca Lozano (7), who completed her chance and doubled the lead to 2-0 for the Eagles.

Lozano had been a standout performer for the Eagles, creating many problems for the Jaguars defense as her speed and ability were on display all match. 

“I have a lot of speed so I called for the ball and ran down the flank to go in and shoot,” Lozano said. “I was very excited because I rarely score. It was so exciting because I wasn’t expecting to score, and I’m just so happy we won.”

The Eagles did not slow down after this goal, continuing their attacks and playing efficiently as a team. Later in the second half, two more goals were scored: a shot from midfielder Alexis Reigel (23) and a penalty kick scored by forward Mia Engelbart (10). 

The Eagles found themselves winning 4-0 and running away with a district championship. With another impressive performance from the defense to keep the Jaguars from scoring, the game ended at the score of 4-0 and confirmed the Eagles as champions.

“The level of play we have is outstanding,” Lozano said. “Against each team we’ve played, we have played amazing. It’s not even that much improvement, we’ve always been so good.”

The Eagles’ determination lifted the team once again as another astounding win brought their seasonal record to six wins and two losses. The team, who now has won two straight district championships, looks forward to the regional playoffs. 

Their regional playoff game will take place Tuesday, Feb. 16, in which the Eagles will play against Park Vista High School at home.

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Reece Gary is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a writer for the Eagle Eye. He enjoys playing golf, biking, and spending time with his dog.

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David Lopez is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He is a staff writer for the Eagle Eye. He plays both basketball and soccer and participates in DECA. He looks to pursue a career in sports journalism.

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