The Wellington High School girls soccer team’s post-season was cut short with a tough 1-0 loss to nemesis Boca Raton High School in the Class 5A regional semifinals on Friday, Feb. 9.
It was the second time that the teams faced each other on the season, with Boca previously blanking the Wolverines 3-0. The two teams have a long history of battling in the post-season. Last year, Wellington fell to Boca in overtime.
The Bobcats (16-2-1) scored the only goal of the match in the 14th minute after both teams battled for the advantage, moving the ball the length of the pitch. Boca took a shot from about seven yards out that seared the turf into the opposite corner off a pass for the 1-0 lead.
Wellington (19-3-1) pressed the action, creating an opportunity just before the water break, but a stingy Bobcat freshman goalkeeper, Lara Larco, denied the Wolverine equalizer.
In the 30th minute, Wellington built an attack from their defending third and pressured the Boca defense. Samantha Sullivan drove a header off a crossing pass from Alexandra Rehr, directly on frame, but again the Wolverines were denied the equalizer.
They had two opportunities from set plays that they could not capitalize on. Boca Raton began to pressure an apparently frustrated Wellington squad, but the Wolverines held on defensively to deny the Bobcats any additional scores before the half.
Both teams entered the second half with urgency, Wellington needing an equalizer, and Boca trying to secure the lead. Boca pressed the action, but a solid defensive stand by the Wolverines allowed Wellington to start building an attack.
They had several opportunities late in the second half to tie the match, but Larco came up big for the Bobcats with crucial saves.
One Wolverine shot was from 24 yards out that looked sure to hit the upper right, but Larco left the ground and batted the ball off frame.
Samantha Jenkins hit a corner kick into the Boca box, connecting with Sullivan for a header, but Larco stood in the way again.
The opportunities were many for the Wolverines in the second half, but the Boca Bobcats held on for the 1-0 victory, ending Wellington’s season for the second-straight year.