Transition year will benefit 2010 season

By Mark Garrity
Published: November 2009

The fall soccer season has come to a close with the Girls’ Soccer team unable to qualify for the state tournament. The program took a step back from a strong 2008 season with a 5-10-3 record this year.

The Lions lost Dual County League (DCL) All-Star Samantha Tye, as well as other cogs of their success, but they hoped to continue playing strong defense, despite losing last year’s group of seniors.
“It was like playing with a whole new team [without Tye] and we almost had to rebuild everything, junior Celia Kaufer said.

This year’s squad depended on strong play from unproven freshmen and sophomores, as well as strong leadership from the upperclassmen.

“I think it was more of a rebuilding year for us since we lost a lot of seniors, and we had a lot of spaces to fill which didn’t really give us a chance to capitalize on all our talent, junior Jesse Eysenbach said.

The team’s hopes of matching last year’s formidable record were dashed early after a season-ending injury to senior and co-captain Ariel Kirshenbaum. Her torn ACL, suffered in the preseason, kicked off the 2009 campaign on a sour note.

“It was a big mental loss to lose our captain so early in the season, but she was still a great motivator coming to all of our games, Kaufer said.

Despite this year’s struggles, the program hopes the underclassmen’s experience this season will help propel the Girls’ Soccer team back to tournament contention.

Already this year three freshmen, Lauren Astrachan, Jules Costa, and Tori Swartz, started many games. These three players gained a great deal of experience by playing with the older and more experienced players both in practice and in games.

“The younger players progressed very well throughout the season, Senior and co-captain Karina Berenbaum said. “They immediately saw the responsibilities that they needed to take on to be a beneficial part of the team.

Injuries not only plagued underclassmen, but upperclassmen as well. Sophomores Emma Friedman and Abby Rice both missed a significant part of the season, but hope to rebound and become future assets to the team.

Girls’ Soccer entrusts next season’s success to an already strong junior class. Players Eysenbach, Kaufer, Hannah Nussbaum, and Martha Schnee look to take over the reins and lead the squad to the tournament next year.

“Next year, our group of seniors is going to be really strong. We all have our own qualities in which we can lead the team regardless of who is captain, Nussbaum said. “We look to be a much bigger force because of how closely-knit we are since a lot of us having been playing together since we were little, which definitely adds to the team dynamic of the game.

The coaches were influential in the development of the team’s younger players. Coach Doug McCarthy has been a long time resident of the Weeks Field sidelines and uses his knowledge of the game to mold his younger players into solid soccer players.

“The coaches do a very good job in making the underclassmen feel comfortable and part of the team. I know they will continue to build confidence in them as they grow throughout the years, Berenbaum said.

Although the 2009 season did not have the outcome the Girls’ Soccer program has grown accustomed to, the team hopes this season will give the younger players experience playing at the varsity level.

Berenbaum has faith that her team will continue to progress. “We have some extremely talented players on the team and I think that it can only go up from here, she said.

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