After three matches, the Burlington High girls soccer team has a record of 1-1-1.
The Red Devils faced Middlesex League Liberty Division opponents Winchester and Reading and non-league Bedford in that trio of encounters to open the season.
After starting with a 1-0 loss to the Sachems, BHS rebounded with a 2-0 shutout over Bedford and a 0-0 tie with Reading on Monday afternoon at Brush Field in Burlington.
One goal allowed in three games?
“It’s them,” said first-year Burlington coach Daniela De Sousa after the Reading match, pointing to her players. “They work so incredibly hard. We have a plan and they believe in it and they’re able to execute it. I’ve never worked with such a hard-working group of girls.”
Burlington has been sparked by a group of five seniors including tri-captain Katelyn Browne, tri-captain Ali Restivo, tri-captain Cassidy Soohoo, Ava Restivo and goalkeeper Kirsten Dew.
“Those five seniors are all leaders,” De Sousa said. “That’s what I love. The captains are doing a great job, but they also have the support of the other two seniors. They’re all leaders.”
De Sousa, certainly not a rookie to coaching, has guided the Red Devils with an excellent mixture of humor and enthusiasm along with assistant coach Jillian Raso and others.
“We can only do so much as coaches,” she said. “But the work-rate these girls have is phenomenal. They’re here and they want to work, that makes my life easier. And they’re starting to have fun with soccer which is even more exciting.”
It might be difficult not to have fun with De Sousa, who could be heard shouting nicknames including ‘Baby Giraffe’ and ‘Google’ to her players while patrolling the sidelines.
“I think psychologically, the pandemic hurt a lot of us,” De Sousa said. “To find something that you want to come to every day and have fun doing? That’s one (positive) result right there and we just want to build on that.”
Against Reading, Soohoo had a first-half scoring opportunity while BHS also had two nice passing plays that nearly led to goals.
The first saw freshman Briana Thomas pass to sophomore Caitlyn Tremblay, who fed freshman Ellie Matarazzo. Matarazzo just missed getting a shot off.
Later in the half, junior Morgan Ryan started a play that went from junior Shea McDonald to Tremblay to sophomore Savanna Scali for a shot.
Junior Cora Laverty also had a shot on the Reading goal in the first half.
Soohoo and Ryan had corner kicks in the second half for the Devils.
RMHS had more of the scoring chances in the second half, but Dew and the Devil defense kept the Rockets off the board.
Ali Restivo sparked Burlington’s defense along with Browne, Soohoo, McDonald and junior Annaliesa Viglione. Dew made her best save late in the game on a shot from only 10 yards out.
In the victory over Bedford, Soohoo scored both Burlington goals.
Burlington plays in Lexington on Wednesday and hosts Stoneham on Friday at 4:15 p.m.