A Rivalry Lives On: Ransom’s Girls Varsity Soccer faces Carrolton on RE turf

Dylan Vrins

On Thursday, December 9th, RE’s Girls Varsity Soccer team played Carrolton at Robert E. Walker Field. It was an important game for the Raiders, since the last time they played Carrolton was last year at regionals, and they lost. Coach Michelle Mondell explained, “When RE plays Carrolton, there always seems to be a lot of pressure. It is one of our rivalry matches of the year.” This pressure was seen during the game, with the Raiders extremely focused on getting the victory against Carrolton.  

The first half of the game started off strong for the Raiders, who managed to get a close shot on goal four minutes into the game. This control continued throughout the first half, with both teams fighting for possession. Around the halfway point of the first half, Ransom’s Isabel Chong ‘24 had an extremely close shot on goal, but Carolton’s goalie managed to stop the Raiders from taking a lead in the game.  

The game got even more intense after this, with one of Carolton’s players managing to move past the Raider’s defense and face our goalie head-on in the box. Thankfully, Addison Pollock ‘25 managed to stop what was seemingly an easy goal for Carolton and keep the game at a stalemate. Ransom remained in a dominant position at the end of the first half, but one shot from Carolton’s strikers managed to slip past our goalie’s hands, leaving Carolton in the lead 1-0 as the first half came to an end. 

At the start of the second half, the Raiders came out strong, Anna Lavernia ‘25 saw two remarkably close shots on goal within a five-minute period. Not too long after this, Carolton made a fatal mistake. Senior Lua Balestra ‘22 was fouled in the box by one of Carolton’s defenders, leading to a penalty for Ransom. Mather Davidson ‘22 was chosen to take the penalty, and after a minute of silence, as the audience watched intensely, Mather took the shot and scored for Ransom. Coach Mondell emphasized this as a turning point in the game, saying “We had been trailing for most of the game and had begun to pepper the goal more, but when Lua was fouled in the box and Mather converted the penalty kick, it seemed to open up the game even more for the Raiders.” 

With a 1-1 stalemate, the audience was unable to take their eyes off the ball. Possession became crucial, with both teams fighting for any chance to capitalize on an opportunity. In the end, time ran out, leaving the game a stalemate after a hard-fought comeback from the Raiders in the second half. Coach Mondell explained her thoughts after the game, “This game was mentally demanding, and preparing for different scenarios ahead of time could elevate our performance. We talk about ‘controlling what you can control,’ and we’ll keep working on how we respond to those unusual situations. We are very excited and hope to see Carrolton in district play again.” 

The rivalry between Carrolton and Ransom lives on, and when the two teams play again, it will be a battle for the ages.