Commodore junior tops Independent soccer team

ADDISON COUNTY — Although none of the local girls’ high school soccer teams finished above .500, all four had fine moments and benefited from outstanding individual contributions that are recognized here in the 2010 Addison Independent Girls’ Soccer All-Star Team.
Coach Dwight Irish’s Vergennes squad had the most success, compiling a .500 regular season and earning a home playoff game. They were sparked by, among others, high-scoring junior Kenadi Dattilio, the 2010 Addison Independent Player of the Year, and three other Commodores who are recognized here.
Each of the other three local teams compiled two-win regular seasons. But something almost magical happened when Coach Jen Clark’s balanced and improved Middlebury squad hit the playoffs. First, the Tigers won on the road, and then because of an upset elsewhere, they hosted a postseason game for the first time in two decades — and prevailed again. Two Tigers who played key roles earned spots on the Independent squad.
Coach Dustin Corrigan’s Mount Abraham team managed two ties to go with two wins, one of them a dramatic upset over rival VUHS. Three Eagle underclassmen who helped make the team’s attack dangerous are honored here.
Coach David Brown’s Otters also showed some offensive spark and were anchored in the back by a standout goalie. A young forward and that senior netminder round out the Independent team.
Selections were made based on observation, statistics, overall contributions to the teams, and consultation with the coaches. Congratulations to the following:
Notes: Experienced three-year starter who broke through for a local high of 13 goals and set up two scores … Dangerous from long-range because of her ability to strike the ball with authority … Possesses the skill to take on defenders one-on-one, and the knowledge to set up opportunities for her teammates … Her coaches believe she can improve even more.
Irish’s Quotes: “She had a really good year … She was injury-free this year, so she could show her stuff … She can create an opening and bury her shot … I would describe her shot as pretty accurate, and she can hit it with pace. She can bend the ball, too … Her field vision is excellent. She’s got great vision.”
Notes: Three-year starting goalie who was tested this year behind a formation with just three defenders and three midfielders and passed with flying colors, making 306 saves, many against uncontested shots … Allowed 42 goals and had a save percentage of .870 despite the quality of shots she faced … Strong, mobile keeper with good hands and the knowledge of when to come off her line to break up plays.
Brown’s Quotes: “Erin was someone who faced a lot of shots this year and was never afraid to come out of the box and sacrifice her body to save the ball … It was Erin’s incredible work ethic that kept our team close in some games. She would always be covered in dirt and mud, laying out for every ball … Erin was our team MVP for three years in a row.”
Notes: Tireless three-year starter at sweeper and three-year Independent all-star … Used her quickness to break up plays all over the field, and showed improved judgment on when to take chances on tackles … Also sharpened her passing skills and decision-making in the back and helped trigger the Tigers’ advances up the field.
Clark’s Quotes: “She was a spectacular player for us … She’s probably the hardest-working, most tenacious defender I’ve seen in a long time … She had speed and sheer doggedness … She could chase anyone down … She led the team every practice with her hard work and her constant ability to stay positive … Rosalie was our lead-by-example leader.”
Notes: Moved from the flank to sweeper this fall and took charge in the back … Flashed tremendous speed and disrupted opponents from sideline to sideline … Quickly learned when to simply clear the ball out of harm’s way and when to settle and find a teammate up the field, and had the skill to do so.
Irish’s Quotes: “She’s so tenacious and athletic … She’s so quick to the ball, and does something with the ball decisively … You certainly can put her on a good player and drive her crazy … She had the willingness to do whatever it takes to get the ball … Her confidence grew this year … It will be nice to have her back again one more time.”
Notes: Offensive-minded central midfielder who scored four goals and assisted three in 11 games … Possibly the most skilled player in the county, also showed strength, balance and a remarkable knack for coming away with 50-50 balls … Used her soccer knowledge to set up her teammates and her technical ability to finish.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She’s easily one of the best players in the league … She’s definitely got a flair for going at people individually … She’s really good at winning the ball and getting the ball forward and creating chances for us to score … When she had an opportunity to score, she had a pretty good chance at finishing it.”
Notes: Heady, skilled central midfielder who helped the Commodores keep the pressure on opponents … Scored one goal and set up two … Knowledgeable four-year varsity athlete who bounced back after missing last year with a knee injury … Ball-winner whose distribution skills triggered the high-scoring VUHS attack.
Irish’s Quotes: “She controlled the middle … She was an intelligent player … She was probably one of the better players in our league … She had the confidence to take people on and beat them … She would find the places for players to run onto … She would read the situation and be able to get the ball first.”
Notes: Strong, tough two-way midfielder whose communication skills and presence were critical to the Tigers’ step up in quality of play … Smart athlete who understands the game, played passing lanes and pressured opponents defensively, distributed well, and came away with 50-50 balls.
Clark’s Quotes: “You could put her anywhere on the field and she knows what to do … She’s just a versatile player who uses every tool she has … Her leadership on the field is phenomenal. She had the team focused … Anytime the ball goes near her, she is someone who will win the ball … Liz was our vocal leader.”
Notes: Burst on the high school scene with a 10-goal, five-assist season … Explosive scorer who recorded two hat tricks … Smart player who never stops working to get open, can finish with either foot, and has the poise to find open teammates when under pressure.
Irish’s Quotes: “Ruby can make it happen for you … She’s confident vs. defenses … Her work rate is really good … She’s really calm in front of the net … She’s a goal-scorer. Her main strength is she’s relentless up there … She’s willing to fight through defenders and fight for the ball.”
Notes: Speedy striker who sparked the Otters with team highs of seven goals and four assists … Has the skills to take on defenders one-on-one, and the vision to find open teammates … Also worked hard off the ball and defensively.
Brown’s Quotes: “Lauren was a dominant threat as a striker … She was able to move the ball forward with confidence and skill … She was also great at assisting the midfield, coming back and playing defense … As a sophomore Lauren had improved immensely over the summer … I eagerly await to see her in the fall.”
Notes: Skilled finisher who tied for the Eagles’ team lead with four goals and three assists … Strong with either foot, and never stopped moving off the ball to get open … Showed a high work rate whether the Eagles had the ball or not.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She gets a lot of second-effort goals … She’s good at getting into the box and getting a serve and finishing it … Any time we got a shot on goal she would continue to go after the ball and follow the shot and really put pressure on the defense.”
NICOLE NORLAND, MOUNT ABE JUNIOR. Notes: Scored three goals and assisted two while splitting time between central midfield and striker … Skilled, strong-footed player who sees the field well and set up many runs for her teammates … Tireless athlete who also worked hard defensively.
Corrigan’s Quotes: “She settles the ball really well. She can possess the ball … Her work rate is really good … She’s a player who could play the whole game without a rest … She was always very steady and effective … She’s a very versatile player … She really strikes the ball very well … The three goals she scored were spectacular.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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