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Girls’ soccer ties nationally ranked Acton-Boxboro, reflects season

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
By Clara FradenNewton South girls’ soccer tied the nation’s best team, Acton-Boxboro, last Wednesday (1-1), after losing to them earlier in the season (4-0).

“We knew it was going to be a different dynamic then last year,” varsity goalie, Samantha Tye, said. “After our last game against AB though, our confidence was boosted and we realized how far we’d come.”


The teams has improved over the last few weeks, coach Doug McCarthy said, “The girls have worked very hard and the results are showing.” Adjustments were also made to South’s defense in order to be better prepared against Acton-Boxboro.
“Our four backs Deb Collins, Dani Pansack, Niki Sholemson, and Julie Salerno adjusted to the changes beautifully,” McCarthy said. “Along with their teammates and goalkeeper Sam Tye, were able to shut down A-B’s…very potent passing attack.”

The Lions have made adjustments all season in order to cope with the loss of many seniors last year. “This creates opportunities for others to step in and fill their roles,” McCarthy said. “That’s been the case this season.”

Out of 24 spots, 11 of them are filled by juniors.

According to McCarthy, the main difference between this year and last year’s team is the development of a stronger offense largely due to the return of junior Lauren Hollender. “She’s brought a lot of energy to our attack,” McCarthy said.

Hollender, along with Bridget Dahlberg and captain Jenny Howe, have 18 combined goals this season out of the teams 26 (as of October 22).

Contributing to South’s success may be their chemistry off the field. “We have a great team dynamic,” Pensack said while eating lunch with Hollender and Tye. “We’ve all been playing with each other for a while now, some of us five or six years, so we know everyone’s strengths and how to utilize them.”

“Everyone always gives 110 percent too,” Hollender said. “Dani even sent a girl to the hospital once,” Tye added. “We put ourselves on the line for the team.” McCarthy agrees, “The girls have sort of an ‘All for one and one for all’ attitude, so the team comes first with them.”

In recent years South has been at or near the top of the Dual County League with Acton-Boxboro and Westford Academy. This year is no different. The Lions clinched the tournament on October 13 and if they continue their leading record, South will host a tournament game at Weeks Field.

Unlike past years, the girls’ soccer team has received a much larger fan base this season. Lawn chairs and chatty fans adorn all sides of the field on the average home game now. “We used to just see our parents on the sideline,” Tye said. “Now when we look up we see our friends too. It’s awesome!”

Some, like junior Chris Ramos, attend the games for specific reasons. “I go to see Sam Tye.”

Others simply enjoy the atmosphere. “Between school and homework, you never have enough time to go outside,” junior Joey Ives said. “Soccer games are a great place to relax, be with friends, and support your school. The girls play really well. They’re a lot of fun to watch.”

The teams has improved over the last few weeks, coach Doug McCarthy said, “The girls have worked very hard and the results are showing.” Adjustments were also made to South’s defense in order to be better prepared against Acton-Boxboro. “Our four backs Deb Collins, Dani Pansack, Niki Sholemson, and Julie Salerno adjusted to the changes beautifully,” McCarthy said. “Along with their teammates and goalkeeper Sam Tye, were able to shut down A-B’s…very potent passing attack.” The Lions have made adjustments all season in order to cope with the loss of many seniors last year. “This creates opportunities for others to step in and fill their roles,” McCarthy said. “That’s been the case this season.” Out of 24 spots, 11 of them are filled by juniors. According to McCarthy, the main difference between this year and last year’s team is the development of a stronger offense largely due to the return of junior Lauren Hollender. “She’s brought a lot of energy to our attack,” McCarthy said. Hollender, along with Bridget Dahlberg and captain Jenny Howe, have 18 combined goals this season out of the teams 26 (as of October 22). Contributing to South’s success may be their chemistry off the field. “We have a great team dynamic,” Pensack said while eating lunch with Hollender and Tye. “We’ve all been playing with each other for a while now, some of us five or six years, so we know everyone’s strengths and how to utilize them.” “Everyone always gives 110 percent too,” Hollender said. “Dani even sent a girl to the hospital once,” Tye added. “We put ourselves on the line for the team.” McCarthy agrees, “The girls have sort of an ‘All for one and one for all’ attitude, so the team comes first with them.” In recent years South has been at or near the top of the Dual County League with Acton-Boxboro and Westford Academy. This year is no different. The Lions clinched the tournament on October 13 and if they continue their leading record, South will host a tournament game at Weeks Field. Unlike past years, the girls’ soccer team has received a much larger fan base this season. Lawn chairs and chatty fans adorn all sides of the field on the average home game now. “We used to just see our parents on the sideline,” Tye said. “Now when we look up we see our friends too. It’s awesome!” Some, like junior Chris Ramos, attend the games for specific reasons. “I go to see Sam Tye.” Others simply enjoy the atmosphere. “Between school and homework, you never have enough time to go outside,” junior Joey Ives said. “Soccer games are a great place to relax, be with friends, and support your school. The girls play really well. They’re a lot of fun to watch.”

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