Playing Like Champions
“It’s hard coming off a championship season” says coach Doug Kennedy after the Hanover Girls Varsity Soccer team battles through a 4-1 loss to ConVal, an old competitor. Last year the girls varsity soccer team won the division state title, and after the final game lost eleven graduated, nine who were starting players. “We have a completely new team,” Kennedy exclaims “and who knows how the season will end this year.”
“Starting from the beginning of the season last year we had the championship game in mind.” It was a strong, aggressive and highly skilled team that nobody could stop. The team held one on one meetings with Kennedy as the season commenced. Strengths, weaknesses and most importantly goals for the rest of the season were discussed in this meeting. “Every single player mentioned the championship, that was just the vibe we got all the way from the start.” The girls worked, trained, conditioned and played through every practice, scrimmage and game. When it came time for the championship game, they were ready. They were in peak shape, had amazing team chemistry and could not have wanted the state title more. The moment the final whistle blew and the team ran out to congratulate their goalie, the thought of the season ending was on no one’s mind.
A lot of new faces, and a lot of new talent could be said about many teams, but with this team it’s more than true. With twelve new players, the team basically started from scratch. Every year tryouts have been competitive, but this year nobody could have predicted the new line-up. The girls soccer program had over 60 girls tryout for three teams and the cuts were harder to make than ever. Although the team is new, the talent has not diminished.