Girls soccer captains ready to kick off a new season

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Olivia McFadden in a soccer game. Photo <br /><figcaption id=Photo by Paula Fraczek

With most of last year’s members returning, the girls soccer team feels that they are ready for the challenges of a new season. With mostly senior and junior players, the team will be relying on the experience of their veterans and on the leadership and guidance of their captains more than ever.

The Hawks finished third in their division last year with six wins and six losses, qualifying for the playoffs. The team’s 2012 captains put in a lot of work to set the tone for their team, and this year’s captains aim to achieve a similar level of success.

Captain Olivia McFadden had a 40% shooting record, scoring 23 goals for her team in the regular season and two goals in the playoffs. Her teammate and co-captain Athina Mihaliadis contributed to the team’s dynamic with five assists.  Athina, however, doesn’t attribute her team’s success solely to her and Olivia’s talent: “The team works as a whole; we function together and everyone tries their best and puts in effort.” Olivia agreed, saying, “Everyone on my team plays such an important role. As the years have passed graduates have left and underclassman have stood up and contributed.”

Each year Coach Vaselios Sioukas has made sure that his team is ready for the upcoming season and that his underclassmen step up. Athina praised her coach’s dedication, saying, “He looks out for our best interests and cares a lot about the team. We all have a strong relationship with each other, and we are like a family.” Olivia added, “As hard as he can be sometimes, he always manages to lift our spirits with a pep talk or to make us believe that we can endure anything that comes our way.”

Both senior captains are planning for their futures, and they want soccer to be part of it. Although they do not plan on playing division soccer, both hope to play on either the club or intramural level (if offered by their colleges), which isn’t varsity level but still competitive.  “Soccer is a passion of mine that I’ll never give up, but I would like to focus and find a passion for other things in college,” said Olivia.

Both Olivia and Athina started playing soccer when they were young, 7 and 8 respectively, and even played on travel teams for a while.

The workload at THHS, however, took a toll on Olivia, and she had to make a tough decision. “Throughout my freshman and sophomore year school work got more intense, and I found myself with less time on my hands,” Olivia said. “So as my junior year rolled around I decided it was time to make a decision. I chose to stop playing soccer all year with my travel team and to just stick to the one season with Townsend.”

Both Athina and Olivia want their team to advance in the playoffs, and with this mentality the girls soccer team is ready to tackle another season on the field.