BY GENE NARDI
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the Wellington High School girls soccer team hosted district rival Palm Beach Central High School and tied the Broncos 1-1.
The game between the two schools has a long history and typically draws a crowd of loyal soccer fans.
The action started lightning-fast with the Wolverines, coming off an impressive 4-0 win against Park Vista High School, hitting first from striker Brooke Mucino.
Just 30 seconds into the game, Mucino took the ball and powered her way through the Bronco defenders, driving the ball past the Bronco goalkeeper to the right corner. The score gave Wellington an early 1-0 lead. It was also the last time that the Wolverines would find the back of the net.
Wellington (4-0-1) seemed to control the tempo of the match, with accurate passing and winning many 50/50 balls in the midfield. With just under 12 minutes remaining in the half, the Broncos (5-0-1) got the break they needed. A long ball down the left side to outside midfielder Katherine Howe gave her the perfect angle to beat the Wellington wing. In stride, Howe curled toward the net and launched the equalizer into the upper right 90 of the frame to tie the match 1-1 going into halftime.
In the second half, Wellington seemed to take some of the steam away from the Broncos with aggressive play. The Wolverines did a solid job of cutting the field in half and continued to pepper the frame with shots. The Palm Beach Central defense did just enough to keep the Wolverines off the scoreboard. Twice Wellington struck the post and the crossbar but could not get the needed second goal for the win.
Although Wellington managed to edge the Broncos in possession, Palm Beach Central had a couple of chances in the second half to steal the win, but the Wolverine defense denied the Bronco efforts.
With the tie, both teams remain unbeaten and will most likely face each other again in the postseason.
ABOVE: Palm Beach Central’s Briana Estela and Wellington’s Samantha Jenkins battle for possession in midfield.