Girls soccer ties with Meridian in shootout


Sopohmore Jana Russell advances the ball up through the defense in the Atoms game against Fairfax on April 22.

The girls soccer team tied Meridian 5-5 in a back and forth, intense matchup on April 18. Junior forward Olivia Cruz tallied four goals and helped boost the Atoms into an early lead that was eventually lost later on in the second half.
“I think we played really well against Meridian,” junior forward Chelsi Lilli said. “Although the result was a tough tie after playing through such horrible weather, it was super exciting.”
The weather played a huge factor in the game, as cold, windy temperatures paired with a heavy downpour created very poor, slippery conditions. Despite the bad weather, the Atoms played very well as a team and were able to capitalize on their opportunities while turning their chances into goals.
Although the performance was very good, the team feels the game could have been won and hope they can turn their momentum into wins in their upcoming games.
“The biggest improvement we can make as a team to reach our full potential is to improve our speed of play,” Cruz said.
Cruz leads the team with 11 goals scored, and has scored or assisted on 76 percent of the Atoms goals this season.
AHS will host Falls Church for their next game on April 26 before playing an away game against Justice on April 29. Falls Church is coming off a 1-3 loss against Hayfield and has a losing record overall.
The Atoms hope to have a dominant win in their next game and continue to win games from there.
Even though the team had a rather slow start to the season, the players were able to pick it up, which has resulted in them winning two of their last three games, including a 7-0 victory over Lewis where Cruz scored another hat trick.
“I think the biggest contributor has been the eagerness to win,” junior defender Nicole Perez said. “We have experienced that feeling of winning games and have kept that adrenaline and pride in mind as we play each game.”
In total, the Atoms have five more games before the district tournament began on April 16. It is crucial that the team is able to improve as much as possible and win more games in order to get a higher seed in the tournament.
“My personal goals are to improve each game in every possible aspect that needs improvement,” Perez said. “After each game I like to go home and watch film and see any mistakes I made.
“I like to take note of the mistakes and emphasize fixing them in practice so that I have a better outcome during games,” Perez said.
AHS will lean on the continued improvement of senior midfielder Camille Cortes and goalkeeper Jasmine Chhim as they have stepped up into big roles for the Atoms.