Women’s Soccer Team Comes a Long Way During Season


When the women's soccer team started out with an 8-0 loss to Anne Arundel Community College on Sept. 7, Head Coach Shelly Dearden wondered what kind of season the Vikings were in for.  So even with a 3-1 defeat to Essex in the regional finals, she considers the season a resounding success.

The Women’s Soccer Team places second in Region 19. Back row: (l. to r.) Asst. Coach Cindy Astore, Team Manager Amber Oliver, Jillian Bryne, Jillian Moskowitz, Kristin O’Donnell, Katie Ann Scott, Jackie Lewin, Head Coach Shelly Dearden and Asst. Coach Kristine Bucchino. Front row: Anna Zablocka, Cali Capodici, Heather Anderson, Michele Brown, Chelsea Hare, Natalya Velky and Nicole Donovan.
"We really got it together as the season progressed," said Dearden.  "We did what it took to get the job done."  Dearden credits a solid work ethic and teamwork as the keys to Viking success.  The team was also helped by the addition of several players after pre-season training who quickly got into top shape and made key contributions.  Dearden herself made some strategic changes in the line-up to find good working combinations.

There was no shortage of thrilling endings, as the Vikings won three of their last four games in overtime.  And they posted a defensive and offensive coup in their regional semi-final against Sussex, winning by a score of 7-0.  The women finished their season with a 9-5-1 record.

Dearden praised the solid defensive nucleus of returning sophomores: the team's co-captain, goalkeeper Michele ("Mo") Brown, fullback Heather Anderson, and fullback Courtney Williams.  (Williams had played offense last season, but was needed in the back and performed admirably.)  Co-captain Jillian Byrne proved her versatility by playing several positions, and midfielder/forward Jackie Lewin , defender Suzanne Larson and forward Kristin O'Donnell also turned in solid performances.

Dearden has high hopes for two freshmen who shined on the field this year: forward Anna Zablocka, the team's high scorer and top play maker, with 15 goals and 11 assists, and Katie Ann Scott at sweeper.

Dearden has now completed eight seasons as the Vikings' head coach.  "I keep coming back because working with the players is gratifying for me.  I also enjoy building the program through high school recruitment,"   she said.

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