by Terrence Echols
The Varsity Girls Soccer team has been one of the most consistent teams in the area. With six consecutive sectional championships and a few appearances at states, and after making it to the state semifinals last year, the girls were very confident that they would win states this year. That confidence was bolstered by an undefeated regular season. Their dominance from the regular season continued in the playoffs, where they won both the sectional championship and regional championship. However, their undefeated run ended in the state championship game where they fell to Islip 0-1.
Despite the depressing outcome, Head Coach Hayley Nies was very positive about the season: “we accomplished some great things throughout the season. The girls did great; they have a lot to be proud of.” The Red Rams can also be proud of senior captain Chloe Hayward, who was recently named News Channel 9’s “Athlete of the Week.” She said she was surprised that she was recognized for this honor and thought it was a cool experience. Hayward is one of the leaders of the defense that allowed only 14 goals in 24 games. “Chloe is awesome,” says Coach Nies, “she’s the mother hen of the team, she’s a tough defender who’s smart play really helped us (this season).”
Hayward is very grateful to be a part of the J-D girls soccer team and is proud of the team and all they accomplished. One thing she said she was able to take away from her years at J-D is unfortunately how to lose. Although she accomplished a lot and was able to come away with four sectional championships and a couple regional championships, she was never able to win a state championship. However, she believes that this taught her a valuable lesson: you can't win everything.
Hayward has left a very positive effect on her teammates. ”Chloe's a great person and player and always has our back on and off the field,” said junior midfielder Angela Bussone. “She always came to practice with a smile, always pushed us to do our best and never got mad when we made mistakes,” said junior forward Alyson Shapiro. “She’s a great role model for our team,” said junior defender Lizzie Redmore.
Hayward’s hard work on the soccer field translates well to the classroom. She is an honors student who takes her schoolwork very seriously. “Chloe is an extremely hardworking student who always pays attention to detail,” said her French teacher Solace Amankwa. “She’s the kind of student any teacher would like to teach,” said Mme. Amankwa.
She is planning on continuing her soccer career and education in college and is currently narrowing down her list of schools. This list includes St. Lawrence, Rochester, Hamilton, Syracuse, Cornell, and Georgetown. She is very passionate about foreign language and nutrition, so she is planning on studying one of those but has not figured out what she wants to do after college yet.
Other than playing soccer, Hayward enjoys playing piano in her free time, she takes weekly lessons and even sometimes plays at her church, the Dewitt Community Church. She is involved in the student government. She also enjoys spending time outdoors and hanging out with her family. She is grateful to her parents, friends, Coach Nies and Coach Peter, but most of all, her teammates for what they’ve done for her soccer career.