(Nov. 4, 2022) Despite being young, the Worcester Prep girls’ soccer team had a successful season.
Of the 28 players on Coach Carol Hartnett’s roster this year, 18 were underclassmen. The squad was made up of eight freshmen, 10 sophomores, six juniors and four seniors.
The Lady Mallards finished the season with five wins, four losses and one tie.
“All the teams were in it this year. There was no dominant team,” Hartnett said. “All the teams were very strong and very solid. It was a very competitive league this year.”
The Berlin squad lost 1-0 in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game to the Salisbury Christian Jaguars in Salisbury on Oct. 21.
“They showed up ready to play. They went toe-to-toe with Salisbury Christian,” Hartnett said. “It was back and forth the entire time. Everyone stepped up. We had some good runs, we were never on our heels. We just couldn’t put it away when we had the opportunity.”
The group’s motto this year was G.R.I.T. – set goals for yourself, be resilient, find where your inspiration comes from, and have tenacity and don’t give up.
“They showed all that in this game,” Hartnett added. “It was what you want out of a championship. I was very proud of my kids.”
Sophomore Abigail Ament recorded eight saves in goal for Worcester.
The Mallards advanced to the finals with a 2-1 victory over the Saints Peter and Paul Sabres two days earlier in Easton.
The game was scoreless at halftime. The Sabres got on the board first, but Prep freshman Caitlin Shimko tied it up about nine minutes later.
With under a minute remaining in the second 10-minute extra period, Prep sophomore Danielle Carr was taken down in the box and knocked unconscious. Shimko took the penalty kick and was successful.
Ament made 11 saves.
“It was the best game we played all season,” Hartnett said.
The Mallards avenged the two losses – 3-2 and 2-1 – suffered to the Sabres during the regular season.
Junior Claire Windrow was named ESIAC Player of the Year. Windrow, Carr and senior captain Ava Wilsey received all-conference accolades. Shimko earned honorable mention distinction.
Hartnett presented team awards to: Windrow (MVP), Wilsey (Outstanding Teammate), senior captain Annie Carter (Coaches Award) and junior Summer Vent (Most Improved).
The team will graduate four players, all of whom were contributors.
Hartnett said the season exceeded her expectations.
“I really enjoyed the season,” she said.
Each player improved over the three months, which made the team as a whole better, Hartnett said.
“Graduating 14 and losing two others, that was 16 total from last year’s team gone, so I thought we’d have a smaller team this year,” Hartnett said, noting instead she ended up with 28 players. “With 18 underclassmen, we have a great foundation. The seniors set the tone for them. We have a great core returning.”