Ocean City Today

Wor. Prep girls’ soccer squad ‘hard working’

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Sep 07, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli “I’m so excited to be back. I feel good, definitely a little rusty coming back, but every practice I’m getting better,” said Prep junior Gracie Gardner, volleying the ball during Tuesday’s practice. She tore her ACL and meniscus and severely sprained her MCL and LCL and missed the 2016 season.

(Sept. 8, 2017) The Worcester Prep girls’ soccer team graduated a handful of talented players so this year the varsity veterans and new athletes are working to fill those spots and leadership roles.

“It’s a rebuilding year for us,” said Prep Coach Carol Hartnett, who has led the soccer program since 1998. “We lost eight starters. Players who were institutions in the program and were impact players since they were freshmen. They have some big shoes to fill.”

Thirteen of the 20 players on Hartnett’s roster competed last year, when the team went 9-1. The Lady Mallards captured the 2016 Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship with a 2-1 victory over rival Saints Peter & Paul.

Hartnett said she has seen improvement since preseason began in mid-August. The girls are working on passing and connecting the dots on the field, she said.

“They’re a hard working team, they’re thoughtful and cerebral – they work to figure things out,” Hartnett said. “We’re going to have to work very hard as a unit this year.”

Several defenders are returning so Hartnett said the team should be strong in the backfield.

Sophomore Emily Copeland played in goal for Worcester last year. Her performance earned her All-ESIAC honors. This season she will take the field right in front of the goal, as a sweeper. She may see some time at stopper and in the goal as well, Hartnett said.

Seniors, captains Kendall Holmes and Cameron Langeler, and junior Alannah Curtis will join her on the defensive line.

Langeler, a stopper, is looking forward to her fourth season as a Mallard.

“I feel like it’s really an honor to be on the team and to have Miss H. as a coach. She’s a really great coach and she’s made me a much better player,” Langeler said. “We have a lot of new players so hopefully I can help them evolve.

“I love soccer. It’s probably one of my favorite seasons because we are just really a family and we really bond every season,” she continued. “We’ve definitely come a long way since we started. I’m really excited for where we’re going.”

Junior Gracie Gardner started in goal her freshman year. During the summer before her sophomore season, Gardner tore her ACL and meniscus and severely sprained her MCL and LCL in her knee while playing lacrosse.

Since she was sidelined from sports her sophomore year, Gardner became a soccer team manager and attended every game.

“I missed playing with the girls but they all were so supportive and they picked me up and I picked them right back up on the field cheering for them,” she said. “I’m so excited to be back. I feel good, definitely a little rusty coming back, but every practice I’m getting better.

“It’s going to be so fun, especially being a junior I’m excited to watch the freshmen and sophomores get better and better and watch the team grow,” she continued.

Hartnett said the speed and skills of junior Delaney Abercrombie and sophomore Messa Cammack will help the team on the forward line. Abercrombie received All-Conference accolades for her performance during the 2016 season. Cammack was the team’s second-leading scorer last year with nine goals.

Senior captain Kaylee Dickson will also take the field as a forward. Seniors Sarah Savage (2016 All-ESIAC) and Anchita Batra will play in the midfield.

Ankita Mohan, a senior, is not only new to the team but to the sport. She will compete in the midfield. The freshmen are making nice contributions as well, Hartnett said.

“Our goals are to work hard, have fun and just improve and come together as a team as we go on our journey,” she said.

“We hope to evolve as players and to play more as a team since we haven’t all played together before,” Langeler added.

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