East girls soccer defeats West in a tight battle, 2-1


Karen Sommeling

The Cougars celebrate after defeating West.

The energy was high this past Saturday night as Cherry Hill East’s girls varsity soccer team traveled to take on cross-town rival Cherry Hill West. The girls started to battle on the field with a 5:30 kickoff and the Cougars played incredible defense. Strong offense and unbreakable defense from both sides led to no scoring for most of the first half, but the game was fast-paced and exciting to spectate. With five minutes left in the first half, West attacker Reilly McGlinn (‘23) had a breakaway goal which resulted in the half ending with West up 1-0.

However, the Cougars felt great at halftime. They knew that they had played an excellent half and felt that they could go back out there and secure a win. The Cougars came out fast and moved the ball with skill. Eight minutes into the half, star-studded senior and D1 commit, Lizzy Sommeling (‘23) had a beautiful goal evading three defenders which tied the game 1-1. Soon after, the fiercely fast Kira Fowler (‘26) executed an incredible goal that showcased her speed 28 minutes into the half which put the Cougars up 2-1. 

“I think that we just encouraged each other a lot, passed around, and did a lot of moving,” Fowler said after the game. 

The electricity could be felt throughout the whole stadium with the student section getting loud and the Cougars showing out and putting on a show. With 22 minutes left in the second half and the Cougars up 2-1, they did what they had to do to secure the win. Goalie, Maddie Shultz (‘25), had many incredible saves which helped lead the Cougars to victory. The turning point of the game was when Shultz saved a penalty kick that would have put West up 2-0.

Head Coach Rachel Tonon, who is new to the program this year, was ecstatic for her team and their well-deserved win.

 “We finally played East soccer,” Tonon said. “The momentum was there, the passing out wide was there, the playing to feet, the moving from the ball after that. I mean we connected passes so well and we finally did it.” 

Said Lizzy Sommeling: “I have played varsity for the past three years and we have never beaten West so it feels great.”

This win improved the Cougars’ record to 3-5 and they will hope to carry this energy to their next game against Rancocas Valley this Thursday.