Girls soccer falls in district quarterfinals


Junior Chelsi Lilli controls possession in the Atoms playoff game against Falls Church on May 16.

The varsity girls soccer team fell to a record of 4-9-1 after losing to the Falls Church Jaguars by a score of 3-2 in the first round of the district playoff on 5/16
. The Atoms were able to maintain a 2-0 lead early on before conceding three straight goals. “It was a tough way to lose,” junior forward Chelsi Lilli said. “We played very well and were able to get a good lead, but we fell just short in the end.”
The deciding goal was scored directly off a kick-off from the previous goal that tied the game, and the Atoms were unable to make up ground in the game’s closing moments.
Despite the loss, the players are able to look forward to another opportunity to compete against Alexandria City in the first round of the regional tournament on 5/25. The Titans finished the season with a 6-6-2 record and a record of 5-4 in the patriot district.
Before their most recent loss to South Country, the Titans went on a four game win streak to close out the season, meaning the Atoms are facing a very tough team and the game will be competitive.
“The Alexandria City game is winnable,” Lilli said. “We need to focus on playing together as a team more and moving the ball. If we keep a high intensity for the entire game and work hard we can advance to the next round.”
The team hopes that they can build off of their last game in order to make a run in the regional playoffs.
The players feel that although they have had some tough losses, they have been able to improve and take away many positives.
“I think the team improved most with our confidence as a whole and being comfortable on the ball,” junior forward Olivia Cruz said.
Cruz led the team in goals scored and total points, and earned first team all-district honors for the second time in her high school career.
The Atoms have definitely progressed a long way since the beginning of the season and that improvement has shown in many of their games, including recent wins against Justice and Mount Vernon (3-2 and 6-5 scores).
“I am most proud of our Justice win because it showed we could work together and win,” sophomore midfielder Jana Russell said. In addition, the players have gained a lot of chemistry since the season started and have adjusted to the new coaching staff.
“My favorite memory is the before game talks in the driver’s Ed room where we were having fun and getting ready before the games,” Russell said.