Well, that’s it. Soccer seasons tend to come and go very quickly. But what a season it was! Highlights from the 2019 JV Gold season include getting beat pretty bad by Hanover High - but keeping our composure and building off of that. It’s easy to win, but what happens when you get beat? Do you get down on each other or do you build each other up? I believe for everyone on this team, it was the latter. When a goal was scored against them, what did they do? They came together and discussed what went wrong and how they could fix it. Brilliant! I hope they continue to do this into the future - with soccer, basketball, skiing, lacrosse, the classroom, college, and life. It’s not how you act or what you do when you’re winning, it’s what happens when no one’s looking. It’s how you act when you’re losing. And I can honestly say, the few times we lost, or were losing, everyone on this team supported each other. That’s reflective of who they are as individuals. Dare I say good parenting?!
Highlights from the season? Freshman Brooke Weber scoring north of 25 (30?) goals in 12 games. Get her signature now before it’s too late. Honestly, she’s going to be fun to watch over the next three years. A play I will remember for a long time coming from this past Rutland game was Weber not running straight up the field to get the ball from her teammate who was trailing, but Weber’s run out toward the sideline first, to create the space necessary, then turning upfield for a pass from her teammate, Sherwood.This led to an easy through pass for Weber, which led to a cross from Weber and eventually the tap in for a score. It’s plays like this that make watching soccer so much fun.
More highlights - Junior captain Addison Kujovsky playing center-back all season long and anchoring the defense, which let up a measly 15 goals in 12 games. That’s pretty impressive. Sophomore Graciana Maier was her co-center-back and together, the two of them could be seen all season long being vocal, physical, and repeatedly running and shutting down opponents. Coaches, and goalies for that matter, appreciate center-backs that do their jobs. And both of these two did just that, all season long. Outside-backs sophomore Lily Cole and freshman Halyn McIntyre, with their speed, made life very difficult for their opponents. Players getting in behind, when it happened for the opposing forwards, found they had almost no time to handle the ball as BBA’s outside-dynamic-duo-backs would repeatedly overtake any advantage their opponents seemingly had. With verve and tenacity, the back four made life very difficult for any would be scorers. Sophomore Nicole Mackson jumped in as a back as well and provided much needed support and relief for the back four. Nicole, with a solid tactical understanding of placement, would always force the ball wide making the opponents job harder by not going through the defense but trying to go around it. The same can be said for sophomore Casey Vogel. Vogel never panicked under pressure and instead of just clearing the ball, which is easy to do under pressure, she tried to find feet and help the team maintain possession. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, her communication on the field made everyone’s life a bit easier providing continuous information to keep her teammates aware and out of trouble.
The midfield was controlled by Sophomore captain Alexa Witkin, and freshmen Tully Trimmer and Mia Sherwood. With poise, vision and physicality, all three made sure, that as the season unfolded, the attack went through them. Instead of just booming the ball forward, all three looked for seams to push the ball through. All three were not afraid to put their head to the ball and push any 50/50’s forward. Getting your head on the ball can sometimes be a bit intimidating and when your choices are “duck” or head it back, “duck” often wins. Well, not with these three. Additionally, soft touches to maneuver around opponents and then look for combinations were often instrumental in getting into the attacking third and creating opportunities on net. It was a powerful trio. I'm not sure if there is anyone more physical than Tully Trimmer. She’s pretty funny too. More headers were won by Alexa Witkin than anyone in the league. And I recently found out that Mia Sherwood is perhaps the fastest individual on the team. It’s worth mentioning here that Hannah Cyr and Laurel Baker have the ability to play anywhere on the field. With a deep understanding of tactics, strong, booming kicks, fearless play, as well as the patience to let plays develop, Cyr and Baker not only did a great job contributing as center-midfielders, but as outside backs and wingers. Oh right, Cyr also played goalie - and she did a great job for what it’s worth at a position that no one wanted to play. And Baker was the corner kick specialist putting serve after serve repeatedly right into the box. Every corner kick provided an opportunity, and that's all you can ask of your server.
On the wings were Sophomores Brielle Proctor and Lucy Farrell. Both have strong technical abilities and could be seen expertly navigating their way down the flanks. Additionally, they had the composure to either get the ball forward to their attackers, who were making expert diagonal runs, or get the ball forward themselves for a cross. With experience and poise, these two helped get the ball higher up the field as their teammates were provided time to get up and support. Often times, players lose the ball when there is a lack of support. Proctor and Farrell did not allow that to happen - BBA’s season was successful for many reasons, this being one of them.
Up in the attack, as a forward, was the technical savvy and speedy Livia Barclay. Barclay has come a long way and her speed into the corners, ability to possess the ball and not panic under pressure, helped generate opportunity after opportunity on net. Drawing the attention of the other team’s backs, Livia was directly responsible for many of the BBA goals and assists. One of her strengths is her ability to visually communicate when and where she wants the ball and it’s this coach’s hope that her teammates imitate her on field communication in the future.
Finally, and definitely not leastly (warning, that's a made up word, do not use in academic essays), Hannah Troumbley played a position no one wanted a part of. Playing goal takes a certain “je ne sais quoi”. You have to be vocal. Check. You have to be fearless. Check. And you have to be ok giving up goals and not letting it affect you. Check. Troumbley made great saves all season long. And I have to tell you - she gave up very few rebounds! She caught almost everything that came her way! And when she couldn’t catch it, she’d parry it! (She parried the ball over the crossbar in a huge game under the lights). She also had five clean sheets.
Oh right. We played Rutland and won 4-0. It wasn’t BBA’s best game ;-) , but they played well enough to string passes together and have 28 shots on net…...not too shabby.
Credit needs to go to freshmen Sophia Witkin and Willa Redden. Time and again, they showed up to the games and took stats on shots, goals, assists, consecutive passes connected, 50/50s and backpasses. They also made my job fun by providing an ear for my sarcastic, witty comments. Assistant coach Nik Joseph was also instrumental in being super nice to the players and not making them do the required sprints they were supposed to do. His technical expertise was also very valuable in practice.
Takeaways from the season? Honoring the Effort.