AWHS girls varsity soccer kicks off season with victory over Ukiah High School


Isabella Welter Vazquez

Senior midfielder Maya Wells preparing to take the free kick, which ended up leading to the goal.

The AWHS girls varsity soccer team played their first game of the season Tuesday, 

Nov. 16 against Ukiah High School. The Falcons started the season off strong with a dominating 3-0 win over the Ukiah Wildcats.

The Falcons dominated possession, keeping the ball on the opponent’s side of the field, which resulted in multiple shots on goal. Midway through the first half, AWHS received a free kick off of a foul. Senior midfielder Maya Wells took the free kick and shot it off the crossbar, allowing freshman striker Phoebe Morf to tap it into the back of the net. 

“This is my first game, and I felt like the flow of the team was really good, even though we’ve only practiced once,” Phoebe said.

Within minutes of the first goal, Maya played a through ball down the right side of the field to sophomore winger Madelyn Mergenthaler. Madelyn launched the ball from the far right side of the 18 yard box, soaring over the goalie’s head and landing in the left side netting of the goal. 

In the first half of the game, the team’s solid defense prevented Ukiah from taking shots on goal. This resulted in AWHS being able to keep a clean sheet. The Falcons went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

Senior defender Charlotte Block directing other defenders on where to be.

“Coming off of pretty much no practice, the communication was working really well for us and the pace of our passing,” said senior defender Charlotte Block.

The varsity girls reconvened at the half to review their first half performance and discuss their plans for the remainder of the game. 

“We started the game off with a high press, and I told them to keep the press up. Also to make sure we keep things simple because if we keep things simple we are successful.” said girls Varsity soccer coach Jeff Mahaney

With an abundance of offsides calls, the team found difficulty in expanding their lead, but Phoebe broke the scoring drought from a goalie error, which led to her second tap-in of the game. 

With high hopes for the upcoming season, the players build up their chemistry on and off the field. The Falcons also continue to practice communication and other skills to succeed and hope to carry the momentum and confidence from their first game into the rest of their season.

“Our team is really good this year and other teams should be scared because we’re going to come out and have a good season,” Maya said.