Gables High girls’ soccer team climbs to 8-2 with win over Braddock
The Coral Gables Senior High School girls’ varsity soccer team opened its season in late October on an ominous note.
In the first regular season game, two starting players had to be carried off the field. Sophomore Karissa Zuriarrain suffered a season-ending knee injury that required surgery, and sophomore Marianna Babboni twisted an ankle she had previously hurt.
In an ensuing game, two other starting players went down and remain sidelined: Freshman Lauren Kerzner broke her collarbone, and junior Priscilla Rodriguez suffered a concussion.
“Right away it was time for the freshmen to step up,” said Gables Coach Eddie Aguirre. “And they have. I knew we had depth.”
Gables’ latest victory came Monday, Nov. 26, on its home field in an 8-0 “mercy rule” win over Braddock High. It was the team’s fifth shutout of the season. Boosted by three goals from sophomore Nelly Sagarra and one goal and three assists from junior Danielle Riesco, Gables improved its record to 8-2.
Gables goalkeepers Maria Gutierrez, the starting senior, and sophomore Sophia Toche shared the shutout, supported by a tough wall of starting defenders, senior Alexandra “Chachi” Riesco and sophomores Claire Shillington and Brooke Donner.
Revealing Gables’ scoring depth, junior midfielder Hadley Stringer, sophomore midfielder Marianna Babboni, senior defender Taylor Baez and freshman forward Michelle Mendez each added a goal.
“It was a really good game,” Danielle Riesco said. “We owned it.”
Aguirre credits the midfield play of feisty freshmen Jordan Payne and Gabrielle Saliamonas in helping to keep the team on track despite the injuries. And now, halfway through the season, the players are hitting their stride, Aguirre said.
“One of the things I’ve told the girls is to step up at the right time. And that’s what they’re doing. The defense, the offense – everyone is stepping up and that makes me happy,” he said.
The team’s next home game is Friday, Dec. 7, at 3:30 p.m. against Goleman.