Friday, May 07, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Hummel Makes a Great Debut in Madison


Junior striker Maddie Hummel scored six goals on her way to earning a couple of big-time honors in her first season as a member of the Hand girls’ soccer team. Photo courtesy of Maddie Hummel

Junior striker Maddie Hummel scored six goals on her way to earning a couple of big-time honors in her first season as a member of the Hand girls’ soccer team. (Photo courtesy of Maddie Hummel )

Maddie Hummel wasn’t sure what to expect when she started attending Daniel Hand High School after her family moved from Wisconsin to Connecticut last summer. One thing that Maddie did know, though, was that she wouldn’t be shoveling snow off the soccer field for playoff games come October.

“After spending a few years living in the Midwest, I really like living close to the beach and spending time with friends and family down by the water,” says Maddie. “I moved from Wisconsin this past summer and was new to Hand this year. I have been playing soccer since I was four years old, and I’ve been playing ever since with many different club teams.”

Maddie is in the middle of her junior year at Hand, where she plays the striker position for the girls’ soccer squad. In her debut campaign, Maddie netted a team-leading six goals for the Tigers, who posted a record of 5-4-2 and competed in the SCC Division B Tournament.

Hand faced eventual tournament champion Guilford three times during the regular season. After losing the first game, Maddie and the Tigers played Guilford to a 2-2 tie in the rematch and then earned a 1-0 win versus Guilford in the third meeting between the teams.

“My favorite moments of the season were probably our last two games against Guilford,” Maddie says. “At their home field, we were down 2-0 and came back to tie them 2-2. That gave us a lot of confidence and was a turning point for us, as we beat them in our next game on our home turf. Those were some really fun games.”

Hand also notched a pair of wins over Branford to go with victories against East Haven and Wilbur Cross this fall. Maddie played a huge part in the Tigers’ success by becoming a focal point of their offense as a striker. Maddie is planning to suit up for the CT Rush travel team in the spring.

“Since I was little, I have always been a center midfielder and, this year, I played as striker,” says Maddie. “I have a lot to learn, so I have spent a lot of time working on playing with my back to goal and finishing, but I still have an awful lot to learn. Hopefully, I can continue playing as a striker with Rush this spring.”

In his first year as Hand’s head coach, Rob McConville was quite impressed with Maddie’s ability to score goals and possess the ball efficiently. Maddie was named to the All-SCC Division B Team and also garnered Class L All-State Honorable Mention for Coach McConville’s squad.

“Maddie was an impact player for us this season,” McConville says. “Her biggest strength is her ability to possess the ball, turn on a defender, and shoot with a high level of accuracy. It is amazing for a player brand new to the school and program to have such an immediate impact in her first season. We are a better team when she is on the field.”

Maddie quickly formed a bond with new Tigers’ teammates during the 2020 season. Those connections gave her an even greater appreciation for the sport of soccer.

“The best part of the game is playing with the girls and competing alongside them,” says Maddie. “As far as soccer, I also love how technical the game is and how much skill, creativity, and teamwork is required to beat your opponents.”

Maddie wants to help Hand advance deep into the postseason when she’s a senior next year. The Tigers are returning several core players from this year’s roster, and Maddie sees the team achieving a great level of success in 2021.

“We have a lot of key players coming back, which should make it an exciting year,” Maddie says. “We showed we can play with anybody this year, and we are working hard to win the division and then on to states.”

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