Mimbas Miss Out On Perfect Season
May 15th, 2002
On one play against Hunter College High School on May 6, the game-and the Mimbas' hopes at attaining a high seed in this year's city tournament-were saved. As Hunter inexplicably found themselves shooting on an open net, sophomore Anna Teytelman seemingly came out of nowhere to block the ball from crossing the goal line.|
The play saved a potential tying goal as the Mimbas eventually defeated Hunter 1-0, the lone goal coming from Teytelman off an assist from sophomore Paige Fern. This win, which improved to 10-0 in league play, left the Mimbas as the only remaining undefeated team in the Manhattan A division.
The Mimbas' only loss this season came against Midwood High School on April 26, 2-1. Though this is the only glitch in the Mimbas' nearly perfect record, the team learned that there is much to improve upon if they wish to remain city champions. "The Midwood game showed us that we are not impenetrable and that we need to prepare ourselves more for the stronger teams we play," said Paige Fern. This new attitude is apparent as the team has thumped the competition since the loss to Midwood.
They have outscored opponents 13-0 in their last 3 games. The Mimbas' defense has been impeccable, led by junior sweeper Amalia della Paolera, freshman stopper Katie Shelly, senior left defender Amanda Zifchak, and goaltender Nina Koukharenko. Lately, two freshmen have stood out as the impact players. Meredith Martin and Claire Hsu have been more than just role players, helping the team with their great athleticism. According to Hsu, she is "the one who is responsible for clearing the ball out of our zone and organizing the defense whenever necessary."
The Mimbas have begun to jell, slowly but surely becoming one solid unit. This was made most evident in the team's game against Lab Museum United on April 30. Everyone was involved in a 5-0 victory, with sophomores Maggie Chaitman and Shoshana Dornhelm scoring their first goals of the season.
While team unity is one link in a winning season, preparation is yet another. Preparing well enough for quality competition may be the Mimbas' most significant hurdle left to jump. Going through an entire season with very few challenges not only makes a team overconfident, but in many cases results in a lack of focus. The girls' soccer team's worst enemy, in the end, may just be themselves.
The hope for now is that the Mimbas can learn from their mistakes. According to senior captain Kara Benson, "We weren't ready for a team like [Midwood], but rest assured that we will be come playoff time." At the moment, confidence is the team's most dangerous weapon. What the Mimbas build from this confidence is yet to be seen.