By: Kylee Johnston
Holding second place in the state, the EL girls soccer team is playing their hardest this season. Seniors Meredith Healy (captain of the team) and Lily Massung were both up for awards. Healy was voted WFSB- Channel 3 Eyewitness News Athlete Of The Week, and Massung was nominated for the same award. Both are dedicated and dynamic players, and being a leader is nothing new for them.
“As a captain, you have to be a leader to help everybody and show how to act. It isn’t as tough as it seems. We just keep each other calm, keep each other positive, and keep going,” Healy said. “It’s good to have the team
trust you and have the coach trust you at the same time.”
Communication on the field is key. As a goalie, Massung must communicate with her teammates frequently. When a soccer goalie has efficient communication with their team, they are able to read plays better and make more saves. Because Massung has such a great relationship with her teammates, the team’s dynamic was able to grow, thus solidifying the team’s talent.
“All we can do is stay calm together, which then allows us to do well in games and practices. Be yourself and don’t get nervous. Winning the first game 6-0 definitely brought some confidence and reassurance that this season was going to go well,” Healy said.
With just one loss so far in the season to Old Lyme, these girls have proven they are working hard on and off the field. Balancing school work, on top of college essays, and practices and games can be stressful, but they have proved to be more than capable of dealing with these factors.
“If there was anything I could do, I would go back to freshman year and do it all over again. We love everyone on the team and we are like a second family,” Massung said.
Massung also said the connections they built this year are what mattered most. COVID-19 might have stunted their growth as a team, but these girls have an amazing support system. Healy said they both have supportive parents that come to every game extra early and are always giving them constructive criticism. This has also allowed the girls to improve their skills substantially, as a supportive family gives more confidence to the players.
“We are immensely proud of Lily’s accomplishments both on and off the field. We are very happy to see the supportive teammate she has grown to be, especially organizing the defense. Our advice is to keep true to yourself and play hard to enjoy your love for the game,” Massung’s mother and father communicated in a shared statement.
Although the seniors will be missed, the underclassmen will carry their legacy on. Powerful leaders such as Healy and Massung tend to have a strong influence on their younger teammates, who can now use what they’ve learned from their more-experienced teammates to continue the team’s success.