The frigid Thursday night of Oct. 25, with the season on the line, the Patriots and the Richard Montgomery Rockets varsity girls’ soccer teams went head to head to determine who would move forward in the playoffs. During the regular season, the girls took on the Rockets and with two overtimes, came out with a tie. Playing them again was big motivation.
Devastatingly, during the playoff game against RM, one of the referees of the game, Rolly Magallanes, had a sudden heart attack on the field. Ambulances rushed to the site and performed CPR on Magallanes until they could get him stable enough to go to the hospital. Magallanes died later that night. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experience. It was so sudden and unexpected for us all,” junior Katie Barnett said.
Magallanes was a dedicated referee and coach for over 20 years. It was a heartbreaking event the team saw untold before their eyes. The game was stopped after two 10-minute overtimes as they were about to go into penalty kicks.
The next day, after Magallanes’s death, administration gathered the girls’ to notify them. “It was a really emotional time for all of us, Mrs. Boldon let us go into a classroom all together and excused us from our afternoon classes,” sophomore Zara Chavoshi said.
After school, the girls went with their coach, Adrian Unger, to Athletic Director Chris Thompson’s office to discuss what would come next.
The game was finished and the Patriots took the win on Oct. 29, at Richard Montgomery, where they continued with the penalty kicks. Three penalty kicks were successful from senior Meghan Murphy, junior Sarah Levine and junior Macy Fewell. On the day of the penalty kicks, both the Rockets and the Patriots wore red ribbons in remembrance of Magallanes, and placed flowers in the center of the RM field. The two teams made a circle around the center to talk about Magallanes. After the game, both teams went back into a center circle and Magallanes’s wife said a few words.
In addition to a ceremony, the RM and Wootton teams set up a Go Fund Me page, having a goal of $5,000, which was passed, changing the goal to $10,000. The money raised went above the goal, and is going to Magallanes’s family and a memorial, along with a charity Magallanes set up.
On Oct. 30, against the Clarksburg Coyotes, the score stayed 0-0 all game, even after two overtimes. The tie was broken when the Patriots took the win during penalty kicks. Junior Miranda Wright, sophomore Zara Chavoshi, senior Lauren Yi, junior Macy Fewell and sophomore Leah Starr successfully made the penalty kicks, advancing the Patriots in the playoffs.
They played Quince Orchard on Nov. 1, too late to be included.