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A Surprise Best Season for Girls Soccer


Green grass under cleats, blue sky above, and the flash of a white soccer ball in play while classmates and family cheered from the sidelines. The girls soccer team has always enjoyed an audience, and this past season fans got a better than average return on their dedication. The MSA Girls Soccer team finished the 2016-2017 spring season 8-5 overall. They beat Chatham Hall in the quarterfinals, but lost in the Blue Ridge Conference Semi Finals to Virginia Episcopal School. Kianna Johnson was named First Team all Blue Ridge Conference. (BRC)

To team captains Aby Morrill and Kianna Johnson, it was the best season in memory. Kianna and Aby, captains along with Anna Fickley, led their team to a new kind of victory this year. “In past years the team hadn’t been that good, we didn’t win many games” said Kianna, “but this year something changed, there was a new energy and it got us excited about winning.”

When asked what they thought had brought about the change both girls attributed it to their new team members. “The new girls on the team, some of whom were new to the school, didn’t know we hadn’t played that well in the past” said Aby, “so they just expected us to win and that energy was contagious. We started thinking, hey, we’re better than we thought we were, and we did start to win! It was a kind of mental change for the rest of us that had been on the team for years. We saw what we could actually do just by believing in ourselves.”

The team also had strong leadership, Aby as the only senior captain led with experience and maturity. Anna, who is the team’s goalie, with her precise direction. And Kianna with her decisive knowledge of the game. “You learn really quickly that if Kianna is yelling at you to do something out there on the field, you shouldn’t question it, just go where she says to go and do what she says to do. Just do it,” says Aby.

The team is made up of several girls from the state championship basketball team as well as girls that have never played soccer before. Both Aby and Kianna expressed how much they enjoyed playing soccer just for the sake of the game. “When you play on a team that has won four state championships in a row (MSA Girls Basketball) it can be stressful to always be the best, but when we play soccer we can play just for the fun of it.

At the end of the season JaLyn King was award Most Improved, “She’s tiny, but she is like a tank that will run you down if you get in her way” says Aby. Hannah Coles was awarded the Coach’s Award. Kianna Johnson was awarded MVP. This year’s coaches were John Macdonald and Justin Peake.

View more photos of girls soccer here.




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