Wellington’s Girls Soccer Squad Reaches The Regional Final

Wellington’s Hannah Pahl (left) and Alana Riddle (right) were among the players scoring goals in the regional semifinal.

At the beginning of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s high school soccer postseason, seven boys and girls varsity teams from schools in the western communities qualified for the state playoffs.

The four girls teams were from Berean Christian School (Class 2A), the King’s Academy (Class 3A), Seminole Ridge High School (Class 6A) and Wellington High School (Class 7A). The three boys teams represented Berean (Class 2A), Palm Beach Central High School (Class 7A) and Royal Palm Beach High School (Class 7A). Of those seven teams, four won their respective postseason district tournaments, which allowed them to play their first-round, regional quarterfinal matches at home.

Of those seven teams, the only squad that is still playing soccer at press time is the girls team from Wellington.

Under the direction of head coach Ashley Parrett, the Wolverines won their district tournament on Jan. 31 when they dominated Palm Beach Central, 6-1. That propelled them into the regional playoffs as the second seed.

On Feb. 13, Wellington hosted Olympic Heights High School from Boca Raton in the regional quarterfinal. Wellington blanked the Lions, 3-0. With that win, Wellington advanced to the Region 3 semifinal against sixth-seeded Treasure Coast High School from Port St. Lucie on Feb. 16.

That game, played at WHS, had extra meaning for Wellington, since it was Treasure Coast that upset the Wolverines, 2-1, in last year’s Class 7A regional playoffs. The squad was focused on not letting history repeat itself. The Wolverines prevailed against Treasure Coast, 3-0, courtesy of goals from Rebecca Quintero, Hannah Pahl and Alana Riddle.

Quintero and Pahl scored their goals in the first half. Riddle’s goal was notched with roughly 15 minutes left in the game. With that win, Wellington (15-3) advanced to the Class 7A, Region 3 final against Boca Raton High School (16-2-2). That game was played on Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Boca Raton. The result was not available at press time.

Going into the match, Parrett was cautiously optimistic that her team would continue its winning ways.

“We have to be physically and mentally flawless. We have to keep up our intensity and the momentum we’ve set in our postseason run,” Parrett said.

Wellington has now won seven straight games. During this seven-game winning streak, Wellington goalkeeper Emma Filice and her fellow defenders have produced five shutouts and have only allowed two goals. Wellington’s last loss was on Jan. 11, when Boca Raton visited Wellington and defeated the Wolverines, 2-0.

Parrett said that her team has worked to correct what went wrong back in January.

“We have watched film and have worked on correcting the mistakes,” Parrett said. “We made some mental mistakes and didn’t play a full 80 minutes against Boca.”

The winner of the match will advance to the FHSAA’s Class 7A final four. The two state semifinals will be played Thursday, Feb. 29, and the state final will be contested two days later on Saturday, March 2.

In the history of the girls varsity soccer program at WHS, two teams have advanced to an FHSAA state championship game. In 2003, WHS lost to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from Parkland, 2-1, in the state championship game. In that game, Wellington lost 4-3 in penalty kicks. In 2008, Wellington won the FHSAA’s Class 6A state championship final, 2-1, over Oviedo High School. That match was also decided in penalty kicks with WHS winning, 4-3.

In other area girls regional results, Class 2A’s Berean (17-4) lost to the South Florida Heat, 6-1, in their regional semifinal game on Feb. 9. To reach the semifinals, Berean defeated David Posnack Jewish Day School in the quarterfinal, 2-1, on Feb. 6.

In Class 3A, the TKA girls reached the regional finals on Feb. 14, where they lost, 2-0, to Edgewood High School. To reach the final, TKA defeated St. Andrew’s School from Boca Raton, 6-0, on Feb. 6 in the quarterfinal. Then, the big win took place on Feb. 9 in the regional semifinals, when the Lions traveled to Palm Beach Gardens and upset previously undefeated, top-seeded Benjamin School. That game against Benjamin was scoreless after regulation play and remained 0-0 after 20 minutes of extra time. TKA won on penalty kicks, 4-3. TKA finished with a record of 12-5-2.

In Class 6A, the girls from Seminole Ridge had a disappointing finish to the season as the Hawks lost, 2-1, to George Jenkins High School from Lakeland in the regional quarterfinal round, which was played at Seminole Ridge. That game was tied 1-1 after regulation, but George Jenkins scored the go-ahead and game-winning goal in the 20 minutes of extra time to win the game. Seminole Ridge concluded its season with a record of 11-3-2.

In area boys regional results, Berean (12-3-3) lost to Highlands Christian from Pompano Beach, 1-0, in the Class 2A, Region 4 semifinal on Feb. 9 in a game played at Berean. To reach the semifinals, Berean defeated Miami Christian in its quarterfinal on Feb. 6. That game was decided in penalty kicks (4-2).

In Class 7A, the boys from Palm Beach Central High School traveled for a quarterfinal on Feb. 13 and lost, 2-0, to Celebration High School. Palm Beach Central ended the season 7-2-4.

Also in Class 7A, the Royal Palm Beach High School Wildcats had a sensational season, which ended in a tough 3-0 loss to Boca Raton High School in its regional semifinal clash on Feb. 16. To reach the regional semifinals for the first time in program history, Royal Palm Beach won its quarterfinal, 1-0, against Centennial High School from Port St. Lucie on Feb. 13. Late in the second half, Sebastian Montes scored that game’s only goal.

Royal Palm Beach concluded its season with a 19-3-1 record. Head coach Mal Hasan was proud of the season-long effort of his squad. “It was a great season with a terrific bunch of guys who worked so hard and had such good attitudes,” Hasan said.