The St. Luke’s Girls Varsity Soccer Team hopes to defend the FAA Championship it won two years ago, after not being afforded the opportunity in 2020 due to a modified season put in place because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The team is excited to challenge for honors again and has a number of new players on its roster. Head Coach Dan Clarke hopes the new members of GVS will hit the ground running: “We have graduated some key players in the last couple of years, but I am thrilled with the talent we have in our current squad. This league is tough, but we expect to be right up there challenging again. Some of our new players have impressed the coaching staff tremendously, and we will need them to show that same level of play from game one.”
This year’s team is captained by senior quartet Ashley Barton, Ali Gall, Layla Magnusen, and Elli O’Meara, who have a combined 17 years of experience at the varsity level. Clarke expects them to mentor the younger members of the team and finish their SLS soccer careers on a high note: “They bring so much experience to the group and know what is required to achieve our goals. I look to them to help our younger players understand what St. Luke’s soccer is all about and to push each and every member of the team to be the best they can be.”
The Storm has been working hard during preseason and had two scrimmages this week against New Canaan High School and Greenwich High School. Clarke believes both games benefited his squad: “Playing two large public high school teams gave us a great understanding of where we are and what we need to work on. We don’t have much time to prepare for our season opener against Hopkins School, who we know will be a challenge, too.”
Barton agreed that preseason has been going well for GVS and is delighted to have a regular season: “Preseason has been a lot of fun. I have loved meeting the new girls, especially through team bonding activities. I am so excited to be back on the field and can’t wait to start playing real games against other schools again.”
Gall added that she believes this team is motivated to succeed: "I know that everyone will give their best effort, and that we will work together as a team and show sportsmanship at all times. It is also important that we are respectful and kind to one another, our coaches, and our opponents, so that we embody what St. Luke's is all about."
St. Luke’s travels to Hopkins School on Tuesday, September 14, before hosting Holy Child School on Saturday, September 18.