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Strong Tradition, Young Talent Carries Girls’ Soccer
nastassia adkins 11 staff writer
October 23, 2009

The girls’ varsity soccer team is not only one of the most promising teams on campus, but one that is deeply steeped in tradition. Their traditions include their annual Halloween game, Ghosts vs. Pumpkins, in which the girls are divided into a white and orange team, and the awarding of a mini-soccer ball after the conclusion of each game, acknowledging a player who had a strong performance.

Most recently, the girls took part in a community service project. The team taught little kids to play soccer on a Saturday morning in Deerfield. They enjoyed the experience so much that they are considering making it a regular activity.

Head Coach Heidi Valk, who has been coaching the team for 14 years, has lead them through numerous successful seasons. Coach Valk played both soccer and lacrosse at Mount Holyoke College as well as at Bowdoin College while involved in an exchange program.

Relatively new on the scene is English teacher and Assistant Coach Matt Langione who has been a positive addition to the coaching staff. “He’s an inspiration both on and off the field,” said Allie Gray ’11 who is in her third year as a member of the team. Mr. Langione captained the soccer team at Amherst College.

Last season, the girls had one of their more successful seasons to date, finishing with a record of 9-5-2 and a spot in the New England Playoffs. The girls were matched up against a perennially-strong Loomis team who had beaten the girls earlier in the season. However, this did nothing to quell the spirit of the team, who arrived at Loomis backed by an army of rabid Deerfield fans who had turned out on a chilly Wednesday afternoon to on cheer the team.

It was an exciting game and the Deerfield fans along the sidelines had a hard time containing their excitement, leading to some disagreements with an irate referee who banished many of them to the top of a nearby hill. However, this did not deter the fans who cheered until the bitter end, when Loomis edged out Deerfield 3-2 to clinch victory: a bittersweet ending to a great season.

The Deerfield girls have come out with a score to settle and have certainly hit the ground running. Battling through a tough early season schedule, the team now sits at 3-2-1, the same record they had last year through the first 6 games. With important games against Taft, Andover, and Suffield coming up, they look to move to the front of the standings.

The team has had the benefit of a steady influx of new talent over the past couple of seasons. Allyn Bennett ’10 and Cate Wadman ’13 are two additions who have been valuable to the defense. “She’s small but she can definitely hold her own,” said Lindsey Shea ’11 of her teammate Wadman. The girls also have a new keeper this year, as Ellie Carroll ’11 made her debut in net this season. Meanwhile Captains Maddy Keeshan ’10 and Kirsten Vaughn ’10 look to continue the offensive success they had against Kent, in which the team netted four goals.