On November 5, 2021, the Longmeadow Girls soccer team was defeated by Agawam in penalties during the first round of state playoffs. This year, they are out for revenge. With all the success they have had this season – including two wins against Agawam – the team has high expectations for the postseason. They are working to achieve a Western Mass title. This would be their first championship in more than 10 years.
The team, coached by Ms. Gina Pantusco, defeated the Pittsfield Generals for the second time on Tuesday, October 11, with a final score of 4-0. The game took place on their senior night. The pre-game ceremony recognized the seven graduating seniors on the team: Melanie Vehse, Noa DiTusa, Kenna McCarthy, Sydney Kasperowski, Mackenna Reynolds, Mikaela Reynolds, and Catherine Pelliccia. All four Longmeadow goals were scored by seniors. DiTusa, McCarthy, and Reynolds each earned their first goals of the season. Center-mid Pelliccia also scored her third goal of the season.
This season has been extremely rewarding for the team. The team holds an impressive current record of 12-2-2. “Every player on this team has pushed themselves to be better,” senior captain Pelliccia said. “We lift each other up, keep each other motivated. The bond we have is a big reason for our success, we have always gone in with the mindset that we are a family and play for each other.” One of their 2 losses this season was against Hampshire. They went on to beat Hampshire in their second face-off on September 30, with a final score of 2-1.
Leading the team with nine goals each is Junior Jamie Greenman and Sophomore Samatha Goodrich. Goodrich is also highly skilled at finding open players to set-up her teammates to score – totaling 13 assists so far this season. Freshman Gracie DiStefano follows closely behind, with seven goals total.
The back line, played largely by Camilla Daigle, Grace Vengco, Kasperowski, and freshman Rhaya Manning, has played a key role in preventing shots on goal. When the opposing team makes it past the defensive line, Reynolds is always ready to take any measures necessary to prevent a goal, totaling five shutouts in the 10 games she has played this season.
Reynolds was out for three games early in the season due to an injury. Early last month, the team looked to Pelliccia to stand-in for Reynolds after a sprained ankle left the four-year varsity goalie unable to play. “I was devastated, but I knew I would have to miss a majority of the season if I didn’t take a step back for a few games,” Reynolds says. “I wanted to get back and be the best I could for my team.” Despite the injury, she pushed through and played two full games before she was out for three games following.
Though the team will face a major loss with the graduation of their seven seniors, the underclassmen are ready to step up to the challenge and fill their shoes . “It will be very different,” junior Marly Ducharme says, “They are amazing leaders and players.” However, Ducharme adds, “I am hopeful for the future and confident in the talent and hard work on this team.”