After three straight road games, the Tide will face Chelsea in the home opener on Sept. 14
By Joe McConnell
Everett High School (EHS) girls soccer coach Domenick Persuitte’s team began another Greater Boston League season on Tuesday (Sept. 5) against host Somerville. To get ready for the regular season, the Crimson Tide warmed up against Waltham and Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in a couple of scrimmages, and the coach liked what he saw on the pitch.
“The preseason jamboree at Medford High School on Aug. 27 against Waltham and Mystic Valley was a great way to see what this year’s team can do against real opponents,” said coach Persuitte. “It was not about winning or losing, it was just a showcase for the coaching staffs to find out the strengths and weaknesses of their teams.”
“Many players were put into positions that they were not accustomed to, and that was deliberate,” added the Everett coach. “However, the girls overcame this uncomfortable situation and rose to the occasion. We lost both games, but the effort was great.”
Senior captain Layla Cardona scored the lone Everett goal against Waltham. The Hawks, however, won the scrimmage, 5-1. Junior captain Yelsa Garcia scored once against Mystic Valley, but the Tide still fell just short in this scrimmage, 3-1. Senior Shyann Ambersley is also a captain of the team this season. All three captains have been on the varsity since their freshman campaigns.
Persuitte added a new assistant to his staff, and he’s a familiar face to Everett soccer fans. Rodney Landaverde, a former EHS boys soccer player, returns to the Tide athletic program to help out with the girls squad. “I had the pleasure to coach him when I was with the boys team,” said Persuitte. “Rodney will be the JV coach, as well as the team’s strength coach. He is an excellent addition to our staff.”
Bridget Cifuni is back on Persuitte’s staff for the second straight year. “Bridget brings energy every day as a coach, and will be an intricate part of the team’s success,” said Persuitte.
The Tide just missed the postseason last fall by a mere two games. “The goal for the team this year is to build camaraderie while striving to make it to the state tournament,” said Persuitte. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m looking forward to having a great season.”
“Last season was a get-to-know-everyone year,” added Persuitte. “This year we are all comfortable with one another, and everyone now knows their roles. But it’s still going to be a bit of a learning curve, but the girls and my staff are excited that the season is underway.”
Persuitte welcomed 40 to the first day of practice a couple of weeks ago. “We are still a heavily young team,” he said, “and I want them to be more active on defense, because I’m a defensive-minded coach being a former goalie myself.”
The 2023 EHS girls soccer roster will consist of goalie Laura Sanchez, midfielder Layla Betancur-Cardona, defender Shyann Ambersley, striker Yelsa Garcia, midfielder Alondra Flores, midfielder Emilia Maria- Badcock, midfielder Luna Sepulveda Maselli, defender Casey Martinez, midfielder Gabriela Lones, striker Kathleen De Souza, midfielder Victoria Macao, striker Adalmita Silva, defender Maria Silvestri, defender Sofia Arana-Quintanilla, midfielder Layla Leles, striker Khadijia Moutaouakki, goalie Kaylee Velasques, defender Glediy Tejada and team manager Milena Antonio.
After taking on aforementioned Somerville on Tuesday, the Everett girls went up against host Medford on Thursday (Sept. 7) – after press deadline. They will then be at Malden’s Pine Banks on Tuesday (Sept. 12) to hook up with the Golden Tornadoes, starting at 4:15 p.m. Finally, they will play the home opener against visiting Chelsea at 7-Acre Park two days later, beginning at 6 p.m., before hitting the road for Cambridge on Friday (Sept. 15), where the non-league Falcons will await them for a game at 4:30 p.m.