By Louisa Bentavich
ECS Student Reporter
After two months of 6:30 a.m. soccer workouts, summer soccer games and running in the sweltering sauna of an Ellicottville summer, the Ellicottville Central School girls are ready for the 2018-19 soccer season.
With Aug. 13 just around the corner, ECS girls’ soccer players are pushing themselves to see who can best the Cooper (1.5 miles in 12 minutes), the glorious kickoff to the season. This year, Mary Neilon and Jenn McAndrew will return as coaches for the varsity team, Katie Taylor as junior varsity coach, and Tammy Eddy as coach for the “mod squad.” Each coach brings something different to the table, not only advocating for physical fitness and mindful skill practice, but also teaching life skills that these girls will never forget. Though Ellicottville girls’ soccer players pride themselves on their soccer prowess, academics, sportsmanship, and teamwork are strongly emphasized as the markings of an exemplary player.
Taylor, who is approaching her ninth season of coaching at ECS, is always excited at the prospect of a new season. An ECS soccer player herself from 1994-99, Taylor was a part of the back-to-back state champion team of ’98 and ’99.
“The thing I look forward to the most each season is the new group of girls,” Taylor says. “It’s exciting to get to know each other and learn how to play with new people.”
“This season may be different from previous ones because of our combined numbers with West Valley,” she continues. “We have always been a D school, but with numbers this year, we would be bumped up to a C school for playoffs.”
With this in mind, ECS girls are pushing themselves harder than ever before. Kayleigh Coolidge, upcoming senior, is ready for the challenge.
“I have been playing soccer with the school for six years,” Coolidge says. “As a senior on varsity, I want to guide and lead with positivity and show everyone what this soccer team is all about. I’m hopeful for a winning record because I think this team has great potential.”
“I’m looking forward to a great season surrounded by great people, and being able to compete against challenging teams,” Coolidge continues.
Robin Freaney, four-year varsity goalie and upcoming senior, agrees.
“I’m excited to see how our young team will progress throughout the season and adapt to the players we have,” she says.
All ECS athletes, including girls’ soccer, will be attending the break-out meeting at Ellicottville Central School on Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. Papers will be signed, health history forms will be completed, and the ECS fall sports seasons will have truly begun.