Women’s Soccer scores breakthrough goal of season against San Ramon Valley


Teju Anand

Junior winger Alyssa O’Brien dribbles past San Ramon Valley junior Hannah Sprinkle.

As the Wildcats advance on a fast break, sophomore forward Chloe Richard slots a pass from the equator of the field to freshman right-winger Lauren Soliz. After two quick touches on the ball, Soliz fakes right and goes left, breaking free from her defender as she cuts inside toward the opposing goal.

Now in a two-on-one situation with Richard against the last San Ramon Valley defender, Soliz engages her opponent briefly and then returns the pass to the striker. Alone against the SRV keeper, Richard adjusts the ball two feet to the right, sets her feet and fires.

The black-and-white hexagons on the ball blur as it adopts a counterclockwise sidespin in its flight. For a moment, the world stops and stares.

Then, Richard’s strike settles in the back of the net. The 11 Wildcats on the field, their teammates on the bench and their parents in the stands erupt in celebration. On Jan. 24, 2019, in the 69th minute of its ninth league game, the DVHS women’s soccer team has finally scored its first goal of the season.

Coach Kasey Addiego recalled, “The mindset was, ‘We’re already losing. Let’s do what it takes to get that first goal.’ And we got it. Everyone went crazy.”

Even though Dougherty ultimately wasn’t able to overcome SRV’s three-point lead, Richard’s goal made the game a point of celebration rather than just another season loss.

“I feel like we won,” junior midfielder Mikayla Win remarked joyfully. “We have been getting so many chances in the past few games, and it feels really rewarding — even though we lost — to score that one goal.”

Going forward, the players will continue with their mentality of hard work, positivity and pride. From the start, Coach Addiego explained, the team had largely been suffering from unlucky chances. But by persevering, his players had finally broken through against SRV.

“The score hasn’t really been in our favor, but we’ve battled and we’ve fought, and we’re going to finish this season off on a high note. Whether it’s wins or losses, we’re going to leave everything on the field and make sure that we represent our school and ourselves,” he said.

As its season comes to an end, the team will face host California High for its senior night on Jan. 31 and then visit Monte Vista on Feb. 5. On Feb. 7, the Wildcats will conclude their season against rival school Dublin High at its senior night.