BY GENE NARDI
On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the Palm Beach Central High School girls varsity soccer team hosted rival Wellington High School and held on to defeat the Wolverines 4-3 under a rain-filled sky.
Both teams would exchange the lead, but errors on defense proved costly for the Wolverines, and the Broncos (10-0-1) were able to capitalize and hold off a late Wellington rally for the win.
Wellington (7-2) drew first blood in the sixth minute when outside midfielder Samantha Sullivan took a ball down the side and crossed it into the box to Brooke Mucino, who landed a shot that found the back of the net to give the Wolverines an early 1-0 lead.
Palm Beach Central responded 13 minutes later when striker Amber Agrillo took a ball from the 17-yard line just inside the box and drilled a shot past the Wellington goalkeeper for the equalizing goal.
Both teams battled for possession, occasionally putting together attacks on goal. Both keepers came up with big saves to keep the score locked 1-1 at the end of the first half.
Wellington came out into the second half amped to take the lead. In the first 30 seconds of play, Mucino got her second score when she took a shot to the left corner of the net, beating the Bronco goalkeeper for a 2-1 lead.
The Wolverines continued to pressure the Bronco defense for the next 10 minutes with calculated passing and putting the ball in front of the net, taking shots on goal.
The Broncos got the break they needed on a broken defensive play when the Wellington defender passed back to the goalkeeper. The ball was quickly intercepted by Agrillo, who beat the Wellington goalkeeper and walked it in to even the score 2-2.
Aubrey Megrath scored for the Broncos and gave Palm Beach Central its first lead of the game when she placed a high ball over the defense, beating the Wolverine keeper for the go-ahead goal.
Less than a minute later, Wellington striker Samantha Grebinar launched a shot that put the Wolverines even again at 3-3.
With less than 20 minutes to play, Agrillo struck again for the Broncos, battling for possession, and got by the Wellington defender. She took a shot on goal that was initially saved by an advancing Wolverine keeper. Off the deflection, Agrillo and the Wellington defender raced to the ball as it bounced toward the goal. The Wellington defender got to the ball first but could not clear the ball as it bounced into the Wellington net, and the Broncos took a 4-3 lead.
Palm Beach Central was able to defend against a late Wellington rally and hold on to the win.
Agrillo earned a hat trick with three goals. Mucino is credited with two goals for Wellington.
With the win, the Broncos extended their unbeaten streak to 11 on the season, and Wellington fell to 7-2.
ABOVE: Palm Beach Central’s Aubrey Megrath and Wellington’s Abigail Bryan battle for the ball.