Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Sports

Valley Perseveres Through Challenging Season

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Junior Taryn Frazier and the Valley Regional girls’ soccer squad turn in a strong effort this season despite many challenges. Frazier earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team honors with 10 goals and four assists on the year. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Junior Taryn Frazier and the Valley Regional girls’ soccer squad turn in a strong effort this season despite many challenges. Frazier earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team honors with 10 goals and four assists on the year. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Junior Caroline Hutchinson was part of a talented junior class for the Warriors this year. Hutchinson earned All-Shoreline Conference Honorable Mention this season.

File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Junior Caroline Hutchinson was part of a talented junior class for the Warriors this year. Hutchinson earned All-Shoreline Conference Honorable Mention this season. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Sophomore Grace Abderhalden has continued to impress with her solid play with the Warriors over the past two seasons.

File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Sophomore Grace Abderhalden has continued to impress with her solid play with the Warriors over the past two seasons. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

The Valley Regional girls’ soccer squad put together a solid campaign in year where obstacles were around every turn. Last year, the Warriors made it deep into the postseason with an appearance in the Shoreline Conference Tournament final. This year, Valley posted a solid 4-4-2 record, but was unable to take another shot at Shorelines due to an uptick in COVID-19 positive cases at the high school causing at temporary school shut down.

Head Coach Lauren MacDonald had a lot on her plate as the Warriors only coach this year, but she was happy to take on the work in order to see her athletes compete. MacDonald and her team’s hard work was noticed as Valley was recognized with the Shoreline Conference’s Adversity Award.

“Even given all of the challenges we had this season—and we certainly had our fair share—we were able to accomplish team and individual goals,” MacDonald said. “One of the things I respected the most about this season was how understanding and appreciative all of the players and coaches were in the conference. Everyone was just grateful each day that we got to be out on the field. That’s the biggest blessing we could have asked for this season.”

Obviously, the Warriors began the season with hopes of returning to the Shoreline Conference Tournament. While the postseason cancellation was a disappointment, Coach MacDonald believed her athletes showed great maturity in handling everything that came their way.

“The team was definitely disappointed. It was tough to make it so far into the season and then not be able to see it come to a finish. At the same time though, my team was very understanding, as we had already had a few pauses during our season due to school closures, exposures, et cetera,” MacDonald said. “All of the girls have been incredibly mature, and I commend them for how they handled this entire season.”

Senior captains Maddie Costello and Hannah Jenkins played a big part in keeping the team running smoothly. Of course, they were also great players on the field. Costello earned All-Shoreline Conference Second Team honors for her efforts this year.

“Maddie Costello and Hannah Jenkins were wonderful captains this season. They were always there early to help with field setup. They were positive leaders on and off the field and made sure the girls were maintaining distance and wearing their masks when necessary,” said MacDonald. “Maddie and Hannah are natural leaders, and I was very fortunate to have them as an extension of my coaching staff this season. They will definitely be missed next season.”

One of the Warriors’ strongest performances this year came from junior Taryn Frazier with 10 goals and four assists. Frazier was recognized with an All-Shoreline First Team distinction and Warriors’ Most Valuable Player for her stellar play.

“Taryn is an incredible athlete and soccer player. Her presence on the field does not go unnoticed as she is involved in every defensive and offensive play. One of the things I appreciate most about Taryn is her eagerness to always give it her all,” MacDonald said. “She is constantly working on individual skills, shooting, and finishing on her own time. She is an offensive threat within the conference, and although she was always marked in games, she still managed to be our leading scorer due to her tenacious and feisty mindset.”

Junior midfielder Sophia Surber showcased her savvy and skill for the Warriors with seven assists, which led the team. Surber also earned All-Shoreline Conference Honorable Mention.

“Sophia is one of our most technical players. She sees the field and understands the game better than most players her age,” said MacDonald. “Sophia was the playmaker behind all of our corner kicks this year and had the most assists on the team. Her and Taryn work off each other in the central midfield with their technical and physical play.”

Junior Caroline Hutchinson claimed All-Shoreline Conference Honorable Mention. Hutchinson’s play was a great example of the solid junior class of the Warriors this season.

“We have a very talented junior class, and I cannot wait for our season next year with them as seniors,” said MacDonald. “Caroline really came into her own this season. She played in a few games last year as a sophomore, but she really impressed me in every single game this season.”

Hannah Tejedor was another example of the talent in Valley’s junior class. Tejedor took a larger role in the field this year, and it paid dividends for the Warriors.

“Up until last season, Hannah was more interested in playing keeper. My assistant last year said she would try playing Hannah in the field. She has always been very talented with her foot skills and that carried over into her play on the field,” MacDonald said. “Hannah subbed into or started every game this season. Every day she works to push herself to be better, whether it’s technically or with her speed.”

Sophomore goalie Liz Allen was the last line of defense for the Warriors this year. Allen learned a lot this season and stands to be a huge asset with full season under her belt playing for the varsity squad, and she earned Valley’s Coaches Award.

“The biggest thing for Liz this season was simply getting that varsity experience. In my unbiased opinion, she will be one of the top keepers in the Shoreline for the next two seasons,” said MacDonald. “She is so talented with the ball at her feet, has a heck of a punt, and communicates with her entire team,” MacDonald said. “Liz was given the Coaches Award this year because she is truly a team player. She was always at the JV games lending a helping hand with warming up our JV keeper and helping me in any way she could. I’m so excited for our next two seasons with Liz in net.”

Another young player who impressed this season was Grace Abderhalden. The sophomore got some playing time last season as well, and this year she proved that she belonged with the varsity squad with four goals and an assist.

“Grace really impressed me last year as a freshman, and she definitely exceeded my expectations this year,” said MacDonald. “The goals she had were those type of goals that you look at the person next to you and go, ‘Did that really just go in? That was beautiful.’ We have a few left footed players on the team and Grace is one of them.”

The Warriors will graduate several other quality players like seniors Dylan Adams, Kyra Brennan, Katherine Morrissey, and Celia Robbins, but the future looks to be well in hand with many core players returning next season.

“This senior class was incredibly special, and I am going to miss them all so much. They each brought something very special to our program, and I cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work and dedication,” MacDonald said. “Next year could be our year. The girls want to win Shorelines and compete and give it their all. I’m very excited for the future of this program and can’t wait to get back out there.”



Chris Negrini is the Assistant Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.negrini@shorepublishing.com.

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