Lindbergh soccer team plays for more than a title in state playoffs


Junior midfielder Carly Boccardi prepares to head the ball during the Flyers’ game against Eureka May 26. She dedicated the season to her mother Kristi. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

Junior midfielder Carly Boccardi, pictured above, prepares to head the ball during the Flyers’ game against Eureka May 26. She dedicated the season to her mother Kristi. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

By Jessica Belle Kramer

For the Call

The Lindbergh High School girls soccer team ended its season in the Class 4 state quarterfinals with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Eureka after two overtimes.

After a mostly back-and-forth game in Eureka, the Wildcats scored a single point on the Flyers with only minutes left in a second overtime period. Both teams had several shots on goal, but the Wildcats finally made it in the net.

Lindbergh’s senior goalie Hanna Groh, who was recently named the Suburban West All-Conference Goalie of the Year, defended the goal exceptionally well. She changed the course of the game by catching several potential shots that otherwise would have cost the Flyers a loss sooner.

Though the season ended earlier than the team hoped, they are still optimistic about all of the hard work they put into the season.

The team dedicated this season to junior Abigail Anderson, a player who was hospitalized during the first month of the season due to Parkinson’s disease, and junior midfielder Carly Boccardi’s mother Kristi Boccardi, a teacher at Hagemann Elementary School who died of cancer last month.

Throughout the season, the girls wore armbands with the letters “FP” on them, which stands for “Fighting Parkinson’s,” Anderson said. The team also wore Kristi Boccardi’s initials, #KB, on their wrists.

Like any other team, the Flyers had hoped to keep their season going, but they felt they were playing for much more than a title.

“The game was obviously disappointing, but my perspective on my team does not change one bit,” Anderson said. “Our hearts were in it, not only for ourselves and each other, but for so many other people, including Kristi Boccardi.”

For junior midfielder Boccardi, it’s been overwhelming to see how many people care about her and her family. She is grateful for how unbelievably supportive her teammates and coaches have been this season.

“I knew every game I was playing for my mom,” Boccardi said.

Despite not taking home the result they wanted from Eureka, the team believes that they put their best foot forward during the game.

“We stepped on that field with no other mindset than ‘all in,’ the saying we played by all season,” Anderson said. “There were tears, but I think, overall, we ended the season not only proving to everyone the talent we had this year by coming out as district champions, but how big of hearts each girl on the team has.”