O’Donnell Reflects on Superb 2023 Girls Soccer Season
Although the Revere High girls soccer team fell short in the opening round of the post-season MIAA Division 3 state tournament, RHS head coach Megan O’Donnell noted that the tourney loss did not detract from the Lady Patriots’ incredible 16-1-1 regular season, which not only was the most-successful in the history of the girls soccer program, but also ranks as one of the greatest of any team in the annals of RHS athletics.
“This was an amazing season,” said O’Donnell, whose squad posted 14 shutouts and allowed only eight goals during the regular season. Revere finished second in the Greater Boston League behind undefeated champion Somerville, whom the Lady Patriots tied 1-1 in their first meeting and then fell by a score of 2-0 in the winner-take-all season finale.
Regarding the 7-1 loss in the state tourney to St. Mary’s of Lynn, O’Donnell noted, “The final score doesn’t reflect on how the game was played. It was a physical, well-played soccer game, but we just came up short. St. Mary’s scored two quick goals and then we moved the ball upfield, earning a free kick that Ari Pina took which made it 2-1 midway through the first half.
“Our goalkeeper, Nisrin Sekkatt, saw many more shots in the first half of this game than she did all season,” O’Donnell continued. “She made six saves in the first half. Our defense, led by Ari Pina, Giselle Salvador, Fatima Oliva, and freshman Emily Torres, played hard and solid all game, but St. Mary’s was just a bit stronger and finished their runs, which is how they scored the third goal before the half.
“Our midfield was led by Catalina Chizavo, Samarah Paiva, Erika Mejia, and Sandra Torres, who moved the ball well and launched some great shots on the St. Mary’s goalkeeper, but just couldn’t put one in,” said O’Donnell. “Our forwards, Nataly Oliva and Kaylin Folgar, and Kesley Morales, Angie Caneza, Salma Zahraoui, Karla Leal, and Adrianna Catalado, all put shots on the goalie and made some great plays.
“Giselle Portillo and Amina Baroudi stepped up and played great defense when they entered the game,” O’Donnell added. “Nisrin ended up hurting her hand in the first half and then was taken out with about 20 minutes left in the game. Salma Zahraoui stepped up, put the goalie gloves on, and made five awesomes saves, and only gave up two goals.
“We ended the season 16-2-1,” concluded the coach. “The girls put in a lot of hard work throughout the entire season and really came together to play as a whole team, not just as a team of individuals.”