By Amanda Dronzek
Back in the summer, the idea of a soccer season was nearly out the window. Now, the East Greenwich girls soccer team has successfully played and won games for the past 3 months. Even with a shorter season, the Avengers are still going strong with the help of their coaches and captains. The girls remain undefeated after a win in North Kingstown this past Wednesday. Through all of the ups and downs of the past few months of the pandemic, it’s been a wild ride for EG. Thankfully, the students, and seniors especially, have gotten the opportunity to have a final season before college.
I spoke with seniors Maya Barnes, Rosa Caliri, and Tori Duke, for some insight on how they’ve felt about this season. Due to the coronavirus, extra precautions have been taken to stop the spread, including making wearing masks mandatory for all players. Maya, a captain of the varsity soccer team explained that it’s been odd playing with these precautions but, “at the end of the day, we’re still playing soccer and that’s what matters.” Barnes further expressed her gratitude and appreciation for all the team has done for her, saying how excited she was for senior night, and how much she cherished all of the small moments throughout practice and games where she realized how much she would miss the team. Maya also remarked on how proud she was of the team for putting so much effort into this season, and how she hoped there would be many more special memories to come.
Along with Maya, I had the privilege to talk to co captain and goalkeeper, Rosa Caliri. Just like Maya, Rosa gave her appreciation to the team. As for playing in these conditions, Rosa said it’s been a little weird but now it’s just routine. When I asked her about how she felt with this being her last year on the squad, she said, “of course any senior is sad about this being their last season but I’m honestly just happy we were able to have a season. The bonds and friendships I have made on this team are some I will have for the rest of my life and I’m glad I got to play one last season with these girls.” Even with all that’s been going on, Caliri has kept her mindset positive and powered through these tough times, knowing that even when the season ends, her relationship with the team won’t.
I also spoke with Tori Duke, another returning player and senior leaving the team next year. Just like Rosa and Maya, she gave her thanks to the team for all they’ve done for her. “I have been playing soccer for the East Greenwich school soccer teams ever since 6th grade,” Duke said. “My experience has been one I will never forget, I have learned so much. I have met and grown close to so many people and will always appreciate what the association has done for me.” Despite all that has happened in these past few months, Tori agreed that even though the team couldn’t have pasta dinners or team bonding like in the past, the Avengers have still been able to hold their ground and work exceptionally hard throughout the year. All that mattered was that the season was happening, and she could play one last time for her beloved high school.
This year has been a rollercoaster for everyone, especially student athletes. Juggling school and sports is difficult enough without a pandemic. Add that to a senior year, it’s bound to be chaos. After playing under these girls and interviewing them, their humbleness and determination has shown how amazing they all are, not just on the field, but in their everyday lives. Mask or no mask, the varsity and JV team will be cheering all of the seniors on until the final day of the soccer season. To Tori, Maya, and Rosa, thank you for being such incredible players and role models. To the other seniors, Maeve Phinney, Abby Walsh, and Cat Winter, thank you for everything and best of luck to you all in the future.