By: Alexa Camerino
2020. A year like no other. Fall athletics in New Jersey has been interesting to say the least. The Caldwell Girls Soccer Team is just grateful to have a season, and a strange season it has been.
During a normal season, practice would start in mid August, but this year was delayed. We didn’t start training until September with all sorts of extra things to deal with. Wear a mask, social distance, don’t go to parties, be smart about who you’re around. The team has looked at everyday playing soccer as a blessing and is grateful for the season we have had. Every game we always say, “we get to play. Be happy to be here” and everyone is.
Due to Covid-19, the girls team was very unfortunate to get four of their games cancelled, three in one week. All of the supposed opposing teams ahd Covid-19 outbreaks in their school, so to keep everyone safe the games were cancelled. The season was already shortened and getting four games cancelled shortened it even more. The coaches felt bad for the players, and wanted to give them as many game opportunities as possible.
The girls team coaches reached out to other teams in the district and were fortunate enough to schedule a “game” against the JV Boys team. The teams acted like it was a real game, wearing uniforms, warming up like a regular game, not coming in contact with the other team besides on the field. Although it was a rough game for the Girls team, everyone had fun and was happy to have a game like situation. Lily Caravela explained the game, “It was so much fun to play against some of our friends, and I know we all really appreciated the coaches trying their best to get us another game scheduled. Although it was not a real game, it was just as fun and competitive for us and everyone enjoyed it”
After a streak of three games in a row getting cancelled and a fourth following, the girls soccer team finally got the chance to play in a competitive game. The team played Millburn in their scrimmage during preseason, which resulted in an upsetting 7-2 loss. It was the end of the season, and the team knew they had a better chance. It was obviously unexpected, but the Lady Chiefs were able to end the game with a 2-2 tie. The team played extremely well, and although the game did not end in a win, the team was more than grateful for the tie game, ending the game after double overtime and holding Millburn to a 0-0 overtime period.
Even though during the regular season games end in ties and do not go into penalty kicks, the coaches talked and decided to have a friendly competition of penalty kicks. Both teams chose seven players, which is usually five but this was off the record and just for fun. The outcome of the penalty kicks was again a tie, but the Caldwell team was extremely proud of the outcome of the game, and the penalty kicks was good practice for both MIllburn and Caldwell.
After a 7-2 loss during preseason, the coaches and the players could not have been more happy and proud being underdogs and tying Millburn. Cassidy Brown, an important member to the team spoke about the game and said, “Our team really pulled together this game. Despite some starting players who were injured and couldn’t play, the team really stood up and played our best game of the season.” The Chiefs played extremely well and are a very successful team.
Despite all of the Covid-19 restrictions on this season and the changes the teams have had to deal with, the Girls Soccer team is having a successful season. Currently holding a 5-3-1 record, and four games left of the season, the team is very happy with the games they did get to play and are very grateful for what they could not control.