Nowhere to go but up for Lowell girls soccer – Lowell Sun
For Lowell High girl soccer coach Michael White, there’s nowhere to go but up.
After enduring a tough 1-8-2 regular season run, amid a flurry of delays, cancellations and numerous Covid-era protocols, the coach and his team are looking for a fresh start.
Heading into the season with a veteran heavy cast of experienced players leading the way, the Red Raiders are looking to rebound.
“We’re returning 10 of 11 starters,” said White, in his second season with Lowell, eighth overall. “Hopefully we’re able to build on the structure that the coaching staff put in place last season.”
The coach had roughly 30 players show up for tryouts this fall, numbers slightly up from last season. The lone departure was graduating senior Abigail Mitchell.
The returning vets, coupled by some new recruits have given the team a renewed sense of enthusiasm, as they look to put the past behind them.
“Overall, we’re doing really well,” said White, whose team opens the season against Chelmsford, Monday, Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. “We’re looking forward to playing the game normal this season without restrictions.”
Leading the way for the Red Raiders this season are senior quad-captains Ashley Boisonneault, Mackenzie Boisonneault, Christina Grillakis and Casey Mitchell. Ashley, Grillakis and Mitchell provide veteran presence at midfield, with Mackenzie holding the fort as the team’s starting goalie.
“All four bring leadership and experience,” said White. “They’re all four-year varsity players.”
They front an experienced group of returning letterman. Senior Lillian Cluff anchors the defense along with juniors Olivia Gallagher and Madison Hebert. Junior forward Veronica Jones adds an offensive spark, while sophomore Melissa Mejia and Jacqueline Peirce stabilize the midfield. Seniors Michaela Wilson, Kaitlyn Doughty, juniors Bridget Geary and Isabella Patino, also provide plenty of flexibility and depth. Senior Karyna Cortes returns to the program after taking a year off. She’ll be joined by another new face, Joana Cancion, a senior transfer student from Arizona.
Life in the Merrimac Valley Conference is always a battle, and this year will be no exception.
“The MVC is always a tough league and one of the best in the state,” said White. “We’re going to have to be prepared to play 80 minutes each time we take the field.”
According to the coach, the usual suspects, Andover, Central Catholic, North Andover and Billerica, are expected to take the lead.
So where does Lowell fit in the picture? The coach remains optimistic.
“I think we will be very competitive game-in and game-out,” White said. “Teams are going to need to show up in order to beat us.”
The Lowell High girls soccer team opens the season, Monday, Sept. 7 at Chelmsford at 5:30 p.m. They’ll host Billerica in its season opener, Thursday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m.