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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

JV Women’s Soccer Demolishes Manor Mustangs 6-0

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  • Fighting to reach the ball, Center Forward Sam McLelland ’27 pushes past Mustang defense. McLelland played a pivotal role in gaining back possession throughout the game.

  • Driving the ball to avoid Mustang defense, Center Forward Sam McLelland ’27 works to gain back possession from the Mustangs. McLelland played mostly defense during this game, in addition to many players that shuffled positions to explore potential back-up plans.

  • Watching her fellow teammate gear up to shoot a goal, Defender Mya Mitchell ’26 looks towards Defender Madeleine Ziegler ’27 with anticipation. Mitchell assisted Ziegler in multiple attempts to score throughout the game.

  • Pushing past Mustang offense, Defender Mya Mitchell ’27 struggles to drive the ball away from the Westwood goal. Through solid defense and good teamwork, the Warriors kept the Mustangs to zero goals.

  • Driving the ball down the field, Defender Mackenzie Zeschuk ’25 keeps her eyes on the ball. Zeschuk played a variety of new positions throughout the game, playing an important role in the team’s offense particularly.

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With just a few seconds left on the clock, the JV women’s soccer team concluded their bout of aggressive offensive plays and a train of solid possession to secure their sixth goal of the night, beating the Manor Mustangs on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Warrior Bowl.

Right from the start, the Warriors gained solid possession of the ball, using their strong footwork and effective synergy to deftly maneuver past the opposing defense coming from the Mustangs. Leading the ball up the field to the Mustangs’ half, what looked like it would’ve been a powerful strike into the goalpost eluded the Warriors, with the ball just barely skirting around the feet of the offender. As the Warriors sped up the field, the ball was continuously passed from player to player, ending with it out of bounds.

Breaking their streak of steady possession, the Warriors begin to loosen their tight defense due to the noticeable shifts in the Mustangs’ plays. By then struggling to keep the ball for stretches at a time, the Warriors allowed the Mustangs an opportunity to drive the ball into Westwood’s half. However, the Warriors soon recovered from their short-lived slump to regain the ball and swiftly deliver it back into Manor’s half where Westwood’s offense made multiple attempts at the goal. Interrupting this chain of failed efforts to secure a goal, Westwood finally shot and scored at the five-minute mark.

Westwood’s first goal then kickstarted a series of effective and deftly executed plays by the Warriors in which rapid footwork and stronger teamwork were major players in securing two additional back-to-back goals, all in two minutes from each other.

“I think [this game] was a really good chance to work on our possession in general,” Midfielder Audrey Cassidy ‘27 said. “ We did a good job of working the ball around and finding creative ways to attack [as well].”

Already up by three in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Warriors, now in a comfortable position with significant buffer space, continued taking that same offensive stance, keeping the ball strictly in Manor’s half. The Warriors left behind any of their hesitation seen at the beginning of the game and instead took up an aggressive bearing to ensure that the ball rarely left Manor’s half.

Following the Warriors’ success in securing their goals, the Mustangs, especially their goalie, upped their play, utilizing strategic blocks and defensive tactics to make certain that even if the Warriors approach the goal, no shot should come to fruition. Even though numerous powerful strikes from the Warriors’ end were shot repeatedly at the goal, all found a formidable obstacle in their path, namely the Mustangs’ goalie.

“I think we had a few breakdowns because people were playing a lot of different positions that they don’t usually play,” Cassidy said. “But it was [actually] a good experience that we got to play different positions, but just getting used to them and not getting sucked up in the position and playing the ball to their feet [was important].”

Dribbling the ball up and down the field, the game found itself stalling. All before the pause was broken up by yet another Warrior goal midway through the first half of the game. Concluding the eventful portion of the first half, the fourth goal marked the start of a series of possession struggles among both teams shown through repeated attempts by the Warriors to score that were only met by the rigid barrier of a goalie at the Manor goalpost.

Marking a shift in both teams’ tactics, the second half brought a slower-paced, measured game, with both teams balancing out their respective offense and defense. This resulted in aggressive dribbling up and down the field. Breaking the stall, the ball heads out of bounds on Manor’s half, Westwood then following up with their fifth goal of the match soon after.

“I think we did a really good job of slowing down the game in the second half,” Goalkeeper Elyse Osborn ’27 said. “[We also did really well at] overall just possessing the ball throughout.”

Ramping up their offense, the Mustangs drove the ball into Westwood’s half, keeping it there for the majority of the second half. However, the Warriors’ own strategic tactics ensured that the Mustangs were met with their own strong line of defense. In a shift in part by the Warrior defense, the ball began to be passed deftly from one Westwood defender to another, evading the Mustang offenders but remaining secure in Westwood’s possession.

“For me [as a goalkeeper], I didn’t have too much to do [this game],” Osborn said. “But honestly, I think I need to communicate just a bit more for my defense and tell them their options in the back, because [oftentimes] they’re not always looking for everyone on the field and they don’t have the same view I have.”

Mirroring the first-half’s trends, much of the second half was controlled by the Warrior offense, and solid defense put up by the Mustang goalie. After numerous failed attempts at the goalpost, the Warriors poured the last drops of their power into shooting the ball powerfully into the goal leading to the scoring of their sixth and final goal of the night, soundly winning the game 6-0.

“It’s one more win under the belt, [and] the season is going pretty well,” Cassidy said. “Hopefully we can win District.”

The JV women’s soccer team will return to take on the Cedar Ridge Raiders at the Warrior Bowl on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

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Aarya Kale, Reporter
Class of 2026 Hey! Besides being a passionate writer and photographer, I also happen to have a liking for all things cheese :) If I don’t happen to be eating some, I’m probably off reading a nice book or hanging out with my friends!

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