BETHESDA — Monday night was a rainy night for Montgomery County, and several sporting events had to be canceled as a result. However, there was still varsity girls soccer to be played in Bethesda, as the Walter Johnson Lady Wildcats (4-2-1) hosted the Sherwood Lady Warriors (3-1), with WJ coming out on top, the final score 2-0.
For a majority of the 40-minute first half, the Wildcats controlled the ball and created more scoring opportunities, as they were able to pressure Sherwood on defense and take back possession of the ball well.
Another major factor of this game was the weather. In the end, the rain and wind worked in the Wildcats’ favor.
The first goal for WJ happened at the 16-minute mark of the first half when junior forward Olivia McBerry’s shot deflected off a Warrior defender and slowly slipped past sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Anaya, who despite allowing two goals, made four saves at the net.
The Wildcats almost scored on other opportunities though, as they totaled nine shots in the half. The home team shot the ball seven times with no results until the eighth shot which was McBerry’s goal.
WJ made six more shot attempts in the second half, with one of them resulting in a goal by freshman defender Charlotte Thomas, assisted by junior defender Geneva Smith.
McBerry’s lone goal came on four shot attempts, and Walter Johnson head coach Josh Kinnetz was impressed.
“Olivia’s somebody that has such a high potential,” Kinnetz said. “She is really somebody that is really coming into her own this year, and owning that potential. I’m really excited seeing her going forward.”
Kinnetz also offered praise for Thomas, a freshman who scored her first varsity goal Monday night.
Despite not getting enough opportunities in the first half, Sherwood did create some in the second half, even though they were unable to score at all.
“Walter Johnson was very organized, and passed the ball and moved the ball really well and gave us a hard time,” said Warriors head coach John Young. “I think our girls gave a good effort, and I was proud of our effort, but we obviously didn’t get anything in the back of the net.”
Young also attributed tonight’s loss to the ugly weather conditions. “I think the wind was definitely something that hurt us in the first half,” he said. “Playing against the wind and the rain certainly didn’t help us.”
Monday night’s match was the first loss for the Warriors this season, which is ironic because WJ coach Kinnetz is also a teacher at Sherwood.
“A lot of those girls are my students,” Kinnetz said. “But of course, it felt good in the sense that the standpoint of being a WJ coach, and us putting together a complete game up to this point in the season. We’ve done a really good job on the defensive side of the ball, but we haven‘t quite figured out the offensive side, and tonight we really did that. I thought we were really dynamic on the offensive side of the ball.”
The next game for Walter Johnson will be another home match against the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons on Sept. 26, while Sherwood will look to rebound on the road against the Springbrook Blue Devils that same day.
“We’ve got some really quality opponents ahead of us,” said Kinnetz. “I think we’re coming together at the right time.”