When Meghan DiPippa stepped foot on the Westfield soccer field for tryouts in 2010, a nervous feeling rushed through her body. For years, she had played on the club circuit with Bianca Blazquez, Kaylee Hohein and Carolyn Seltzer; now, DiPippa found herself vying for a spot on varsity against this same talented trio of freshmen.
“I knew they were all really good players,” DiPippa recalled, “so I was a little intimidated at first going up against them in tryouts.”
All four players ended up making the varsity squad, which reached the Virginia AAA Northern Region semifinals that season. Now some three years later, with each serving as a senior captain for the Bulldogs, that competition has evolved into a chemistry, sparking Westfield to a strong start.
DiPippa and Hohein serve as the defensive stalwarts while midfielders Blazquez and Seltzer, a Delaware commit, have combined for four goals. As a result, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents, 14-7.
“It’s such a great group to have in one class because they all bring something different that collectively makes them special,” Westfield Coach Kristi Williams said. “Kaylee and Meghan bring a tremendous amount of leadership, Bianca is just a spark anywhere I put her on the field and while Carolyn has missed a lot of time with injuries, she has been a big encourager and has great field awareness.”
Hohein partly credits Westfield’s success to the 3-5-2 formation it has employed this season. With junior forward Brittany Fary (team-high six goals) leading out front and Hohein and DiPippa forming a strong last line of defense, the Bulldogs have been able to control the ball early and often.
“We’re creating good possessions and finishing on a lot of those opportunities, whereas last year we had opportunities but we missed a lot of them,” said Hohein, who is committed to Kentucky. “And with me and Meghan so used to playing together, having that trust and chemistry is big for us on the back line.”
These elements, along with a strong resolve, will be key for the Bulldogs during their upcoming stretch of games. After facing Lake Braddock on Thursday, the Bulldogs travel to No. 3 Centreville and No. 2 Robinson.
“I think what’s important for us as a team is to score early goals and then for me personally, to help shut down the other team’s top scorer,” said DiPippa, a St. Joseph’s (Pa.) recruit. “If we can do that, we’re confident that we can keep this good start going.”
Westfield is off to its best start since 2010, when it began the season 6-0. . . . Centreville has outscored opponents 12-3 led by Clara Logsdon, who scored six in a March 18 win against T.C. Williams. . . . With Tuesday’s win against W.T. Woodson, Robinson Coach Jim Rike now has 499 career victories. . . . After losing to Woodgrove five times last season, including in the AA state final, Loudoun County beat the Wolverines 1-0 on Tuesday.
1. Stone Bridge (4-0) LW: 1
2. Robinson (3-1-1) LW: 4
3. Centreville (4-0) LW: 5
4. Westfield (5-0) LW: NR
5. Battlefield (5-1) LW: 2
6. Chantilly (3-1) LW: 7
7. Briar Woods (4-0) LW: 8
8. Yorktown (3-1) LW: 10
9. Forest Park (2-2) LW: 3
10. Loudoun County (3-0-1) LW: NR
Dropped out: No. 6 Lake Braddock (1-2), No. 9 Woodgrove (4-2)
Bubble: Woodbridge (5-1), Patriot (3-0), Woodgrove (4-2)
Records through Tuesday