On Saturday, Oct. 16, State High Varsity Girls Soccer competed in their senior night game against Shikellamy. After a hard-fought game ending in intense, offensive action by State High, Shikellamy came out on top with a final score of 2-1. Prior to the start, the team honored its eight senior players.
As freshman and sophomore players formed a tunnel, seniors walked through and onto the field, each linked arm-in-arm with a junior. Meanwhile, the announcer introduced each player: stating their intended college, possible career path, a piece of advice for underclassmen, their favorite memory from the team, and anyone that they wished to thank. Once on the field, the senior team members joined their parents for photos and received roses and a blanket adorned with their name and number.
Originally scheduled to be held at Memorial Field, the game was moved to the North Turf due to afternoon rain. As a nod to their When Soccer Becomes Greater initiative this season (in support of Good Day Café), the Little Lions recognized a café employee as honorary captain of the night. In 50°F weather under the turf’s lights, the Little Lions and Braves (Shikellamy mascot) battled it out, with junior Megan Wilson scoring a goal for State High in the second half.
Girls soccer head coach Todd Roth reflected on the game and the vital role of the team’s seniors.
“It was a really hard-fought game,” Roth said. “Our seniors really came to play, and it’s been a rough season in some ways, but this team has never quit. Our motto is ‘never go home.’ They played ‘til the very end and created a lot of chances, and I couldn’t be more proud of how they played tonight. They really wanted to play hard for each other.”
Senior midfield/defense player Abby Edelman has been playing soccer since she was five years old and will continue her involvement in the sport at West Chester University. Edelman echoed Roth’s sentiment on the team’s work ethic.
“I would just like to thank [my teammates and coaches] for showing up every day,” Edelman said. “We’ve had a bit of a rough season, and every single day, we still come to practice, and everyone’s smiling, and everyone’s laughing. […] The coaches have been extremely motivating and haven’t let us get down about anything. I’m just so happy with our performance, even if we don’t get the outcome we wanted, because everyone’s positive and keeps working together as a team.”
Kaylee Schaefer-Hood, senior midfield/defense player, described the team as a support system. She has been playing soccer since at least first grade and has committed to playing lacrosse in college.
“This team has really meant a lot to me just as a group of friends,” Schaefer-Hood said. “Obviously, it’s been a pretty hard season, but I think we’ve done a really nice job of staying together and having a positive atmosphere, and it’s made soccer really enjoyable for me.”
A soccer player for 13 years, senior midfielder/striker Kate Lundy explained that exercising through soccer helps her destress. She hopes to make time for club soccer in college.
“Being able to play soccer and coming out and just playing a game or even practice—it helps relieve my stress and allows me to make friends and relationships I wouldn’t make if it wasn’t for soccer,” Lundy said.
From his point of view as a coach, Roth looks back on the class of 2022 players’ time on the team with pride, emphasizing the resiliency of this year’s seniors.
“[State High Girls Soccer’s senior players are] determined, they stick together, and they never quit. They’ve had to face a lot of adversity, and their character to work through that has been phenomenal,” Roth said.
Before State High Girls Soccer drew its fall 2021 season to a close—one marked by grit, commitment, and service thorough When Soccer Becomes Greater—the team played a semi-final game versus Mifflin County on Nov. 1 at Bellefonte High School Rogers Stadium.