Stuyvesant girls’ soccer team, the Mimbas, was hoping to win its fifth game on Monday, October 10 against Lab Museum United Gators to continue its run in making the playoffs. But the team came out empty-handed, with a defeat of 2-1.
The Mimbas were at a disadvantage before the game even started because they were missing one of their key players, senior and co-captain Zoe Goldstein, who was away visiting colleges. “It’s always hard when you don’t have one of your captains,” coach and English teacher Hugh Francis said. However, he added that “the rest of the team did really well. I would never say that the final result was because of one player who couldn’t be here.”
Early on, the Gators capitalized by scoring two goals within the first 12 minutes due to strong Lab Museum United freshman forward Elma Kolenovic and a series of miscommunications and a few mistakes by the Stuyvesant defenders. However, senior Margot Haas and freshmen Aida Piccato helped put the Mimba defense back together after the disappointing start of the match.
After half time, the Mimbas were determined to stop the strategic Gator offense. “During half-time, I told them not to get discouraged because we had been outplayed by a really strong striker and there was no reason we couldn’t fight back,” Francis said.
Then, right on cue, junior Ellie Abram’s perfect pass crossed into the goalie box connected with sophomore Rosalie Campbell at the opposite post for a header in the first minute of the second half.
The Mimbas figured this was the spark they needed, and they did gain some momentum in the second half of the game. In addition, Francis made nine total substitutions, far more than usual, in the hopes of perfecting the team’s lineup. However, the ball remained on Lab Museum United’s side of the field for most of the game, and the Mimbas came out one goal short of a tie.
“Our second half was way better. I thought we really controlled the game. They didn’t really have many chances on our half but we couldn’t finish,” senior and co-captain Emma Hoffman said.
Overall, though the Gators gave the Mimbas a challenge with the two early goals, it was the Mimbas inability to capitalize on their opportunities to score that proved most troublesome. “Defensive mistakes always happen. I think we need to work as a whole team on being able to come back from them,” Campbell said.