By Alex Frazier
Players of the Year
Jen Hutchinson, Neshaminy
Even when she was playing center midfield, Jen Hutchinson has been a goal scorer.
“She’s a goal scorer, flat out,” said Neshaminy coach Rich Reice. “She can finish when the opportunity’s there. They’re kind of hard to come by.”
As a freshman, Hutchinson played jayvee, but she came on “like gangbusters,” according to Reice, as a sophomore. She scored 14 goals her first year on the varsity, 17 as a junior and 20 this year for a career total of 51.
And in addition to scoring goals, Hutchinson turned into a good leader.
“She really took it upon herself to become a leader,” said Reice. “We talked before the season about goal setting with the captains, and she and the other girls took it upon themselves to demonstrate great leadership by going out and being the leaders, doing the running and the conditioning things and being leaders in the off-season. Jen really embraced that responsibility this year.”
Hutchinson started playing soccer at age four for the Middletown Athletic Association When she was eight, her mother told her she should play travel, so she joined Hulmeville and played there until last year when the team switched to the Philadelphia Coppa Crunch.
For Hulmeville, she played center mid.
“When we were down a goal, my coach would throw me up top and usually I would get a goal,” said Hutchinson. “Then he made it permanent.”
She’s been playing forward for the past six years.
“I love it,” she said. “I definitely like getting the ball and making things happen or looking for other players. I love to shoot. There’s something about shooting and scoring that I love.”
When she arrived at Neshaminy in ninth grade, there were a lot of good seniors ahead of her, so she didn’t make the varsity, although she was pulled up at the end of the year for the playoffs. But she found her time on jayvee a valuable experience.
“I had a really good time,” she said. “Ms. (Rachel) Clemens taught me a lot and prepared me for varsity. I felt like my freshman year was preparing me for my three (varsity) years.”
Next year Hutchinson will attend West Chester University on a scholarship. She will room with teammate Diana Rowan.
Hutchinson was impressed with the coach, who has only been with the program for three years but has already turned it around.
“She completely changed it,” said Hutchinson. “The last three years, they’ve been the top team.”
She also liked the hospitality she received from the team on her overnight to the school.
Other factors that swayed her were the proximity of the school and its fame for her major—health and physical education.
“I wanted to stay close to home because I’m a momma’s girl,” she said.
Ironically, as Hutchinson, the youngest in her family, moves out, her two older sisters and brother are moving back in.
“My mom would have been broken hearted (if we were all gone),” she said.
Besides soccer, Hutchinson played libero for three years on the varsity volleyball team.
“My mom said I had to do a sport in the fall season,” she said.
She had played field hockey but didn’t want another sport with a lot of intensity and pressure, so volleyball was the other alternative.
“I wasn’t very good at volleyball, but it definitely was fun,” she said.
During the winter, Hutchinson has been a captain of her class for Gym Night, an all-school extravaganza that includes dancing and relays over a two-night period. Each class is divided alphabetically into red and blue teams that compete against each other.
“It’s a huge thing, and it’s been going on for 54 years, I think,” she said. “It’s definitely something different that Neshaminy does. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.”
Hutchinson won’t get much respite this summer before launching into her college career.
She just recently received her pre-season conditioning program.
“It’s pretty thick,” she said.
Julia Goldsworthy, Central Bucks South
It’s a rare treat when athletes like Julia Goldsworthy come along.
The C.B. South senior lettered four years in soccer and three in field hockey.
As a senior she was first team all-league in both sports and first team all-state as well.
It’s a good thing she graduates before SOL soccer moves to the fall or she might have had a tough decision.
“I got really lucky that it didn’t have to be my decision,” she said.
And if it had?
“I would have played soccer,” she said. “I have been playing soccer all my life.”
For three years, Goldsworthy anchored the Titan defense at sweeper, but with a bunch of midfielders graduating last year, she moved up to left midfield this season.
Coach Joe Bocklet anticipated the move last year when he had outside back Melanie Keer take some time at sweeper, which she also played for her FC Bucks team.
It was a brilliant move, as Keer took over in the back seamlessly, and Goldsworthy moved up to score 16 goals at midfield.
“She has great instincts and knows how to time runs and get into positions to get herself dangerous,” said Bocklet, “and she has the ability to finish the ball.”
Even at sweeper, Goldsworthy scored 13 goals in two years coming forward on direct kicks and corners.
“It was a good improvement this year to go up and play midfield,” she said.
The transition wasn’t difficult for Goldsworthy, who also played outside mid on FC Bucks. And she liked playing there better than in the back.
“It was pretty easy for me,” she said. “I get to play some defense too so I get to use my strengths there, but I also get to go up and score goals. Who doesn’t like that?”
Goldsworthy was also one of the team captains this year.
“She works hard and demands a lot of herself and her teammates,” said Bocklet. “She’s been one many great influences that have been a part of the team this year.”
Bocklet credited this year’s seniors for laying the foundation for the future.
“She’s one of the prominent members of that class,” he said.
As a leader, Goldsworthy not only led by example but was also a vocal influence.
“All three captains have a different style about them and how they interact with their teammates, but she never shied away from communicating with anybody on the field and tried to push people to be better,” said Bocklet. “That’s what you want.”
Next year, Goldsworthy will attend Virginia Tech. The Hokies play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the toughest in women’s soccer with the likes of Duke, UNC and Wake Forest.
“I had offers from so many different schools locally and along the whole coast and then I went down and met the team and fell in love with the school,” she said.
Goldsworthy plans on majoring in civil and environmental engineering, which is a strong major at Va. Tech.
“I did my senior graduate project with an engineering company and I took AP environmental in school this year and it was probably the most interesting topic,” she said.
She was recruited as a left back, but she’s not sure she can break into the lineup as a freshman because there are only a few seniors graduating, none on defense.
“It really depends on pre-season and injuries,” she said. “It depends on how hard I work.”
Erin Lafferty, Upper Dublin
To be named Player of the Year is honor enough, but to earn that distinction as a freshman is truly the highest compliment.
“I was completely shocked,” said Upper Dublin center back Erin Lafferty. “I had no idea. It was a really big honor.”
“Erin was a huge presence for us this year,” said coach John Topper.
And Lafferty did it in an unfamiliar position. For most of her life she has played center midfield, but when she arrived at the high school this year, Topper decided to use her as a centerback.
“Last year we graduated all but one of our defenders, so naturally we had some questions about who would be stepping in for us in the back,” he said. “It was a pleasant surprise for us when we realized that a freshman was able to step in and do the job that Erin did for us.”
Lafferty admitted it was a big adjustment but having played sweeper two years ago for her FC Bucks team made the transition a bit easier.
“It was completely different,” she said, “but I got used to it and liked it after a while. That’s where they needed me the most, so I was willing to play there.”
“Once we put Erin in the center back position, we were able to stabilize the back four,” said Topper.
At 5-8 plus, Lafferty is one of the tallest players on the field and she uses her height to good advantage. She comes forward on corners and has scored seven times this season.
“She is excellent in the air and has great field vision that allows us to transition from defense to attack very quickly,” said Topper.
Her height also helps on defense as she can get up and clear dangerous crosses.
“It helps a lot on the field,” she said.
Lafferty said she has been playing soccer “pretty much since I could walk.”
Ever since fifth grade she has been playing for FC Bucks, a 40-minute commute from her house. One of her sister’s friends played there and suggested she play there.
“I went there and watched them play and really liked it,” she said. “That’s pretty much where I’ve learned everything.”
Lafferty has three more years ahead of her, and she’s hoping they will all be as productive as this one. She has tried other sports and has now put all her eggs in the soccer basket.
“Everything goes to soccer now,” she said.
That’s kind of scary to contemplate.
States – For only the third time in the history of the PIAA Spring Soccer Championship, an SOL team didn’t make it to the finals.
In 1997 Emmaus (D-11) defeated Cumberland Valley (D-3) and in 2005 Penn Manor (D-3) defeated Emmaus (D-11).
One theory for this is that District Three has grown exponentially in soccer in the past few years. Forty-nine schools in District Three offer girls soccer as opposed to just 22 in District One, so the odds favor District Three. Not only that, but the quality of play is vastly improved.
Another is that with the exception of Neshaminy, none of this year’s state qualifiers has had much playoff experience at that level. The Redskins have been in the state tournament for the past three years, but the quarters are as far as they have advanced.
“Maybe there is something to be said to getting through and winning one of these like (C.B.) West has,” said Neshaminy coach Rich Reice. “Chris Freudig knows what it takes to prepare the team to get through some of those games that maybe you don’t deserve to win but you end up winning, and maybe last year was a great example. He didn’t have one of his best teams, but he makes it to the final.”
Souderton made states two years ago but lost in the first round.
Central Bucks South and Pennridge have never been to states.
Until this year, C.B. South had only been to districts twice and lost in the first round both times, and Pennridge won its first district championship this year.
“It might have been a little bit of inexperience at that level, where you normally have the Rocks and C.B West,” said Reice. “There’s something to be said being through that.”
Bocklet doesn’t think inexperience was a factor in his team’s elimination in the quarterfinals to Emmaus in penalty kicks.
“I don’t think we were affected at all by our first time being there,” he said. “If anything the game at Hershey (vs. 3-2 Cumberland Valley in the first round) would have been the nerves playing in that big stadium for the first time. We didn’t go into the Emmaus game with the nerves of the first time here (at states).”
Two District Three teams faced off in the final, but ironically they weren’t the best in the district, at least according to the way they finished their district tournament. No. 5 Lower Dauphin defeated No. 3 Hempfield, 4-0.
“I don’t think the best teams were in the final,” said Bocklet. “In our case, a lack of ability to put a team away cost us to go into PKs. You’ll get a different winner if you do it again. It’s a four-game season. It really comes down to who has the momentum and is playing well toward the end of the season.”
Player of the Year – Jen Hutchinson, Neshaminy
Jen Hutchinson, senior, Neshaminy
Julie Oberholtzer, senior, Council Rock South
Samantha Fox, senior, William Tennent
Casey Attanasio, senior, Council Rock North
Brianna Hires, junior, Neshaminy
Lyndsay Pierson, senior, Neshaminy
Alex Salomon, senior, Bensalem
Jenna Cunningham, senior, Council Rock South
Brooke Edwards, senior, Harry S Truman
Gina McCoy, junior, Abington
Jessica Levy, junior, Council Rock South
MaryKate Callahan, senior, Council Rock South
Angelina Liddy, freshman, William Tennent
Kaitlyn Wylie, senior, Pennsbury
Sheila Longo, sophomore, Abington
Bridgette Kelly, senior, Neshaminy
Kelli Kerr, senior, Neshaminy
Diana Rowan, senior, Neshaminy
Clare Roche, senior, Council Rock North
Jamie Vaniver, junior, Council Rock South
Molly Phillips, sophomore, Pennsbury
Chelsea Rota, senior, Neshaminy
Kaitlyn Schultz, junior, Council Rock North
Kaitlyn Schultz, junior, Council Rock North
Mallori Kolar, sophomore, Harry S Truman
Jess Williams, senior, Bensalem
Allison Pio, sophomore, William Tennent
Erica Mikula, sophomore, Council Rock South
Jody Sokol, junior, Bensalem
Meg Zimmerman, senior, William Tennent
Laura Carol, junior, William Tennent
Caitlin Hanagan, freshman, Council Rock North
Leigh Deininger, senior, Pennsbury
Kelsey Kausch, sophomore, Council Rock North
Jen Slivka, sophomore, Neshaminy
Yvonne Rohan, junior Harry S Truman
Taylor Gerstenfield, freshman, William Tennent
Kelly Boyce, sophomore, Neshaminy
Katie Mcnamara, freshman, Council Rock North
Polly Heinz, senior, Pennsbury
Alexa Crosier, freshman, Council Rock South
Dannielle Barletti, senior, Bensalem
Cara Deola, sophomore, Council Rock South
Jenny Hentz, senior, Neshaminy
Nicole Ulrich, junior, Council Rock South
Player of the Year – Julia Goldsworthy, Central Bucks South
Julia Goldsworthy, midfielder, Central Bucks South
Melanie Keer, defender, Central Bucks South
Gabby Pakhtigian, goalkeeper, North Penn
Amanda Fleischut, midfielder, Central Bucks West
Ashley Saylor, defender, Central Bucks South
Brittany Middleton, midfielder, Central Bucks South
Olivia O’Neill, striker, Pennridge
Marissa Kunkle, midfielder, Pennridge
Lindsay Horst, forward, Central Bucks West
Courtney Silbert, forward, Souderton
Emily Farrell, midfielder, Souderton
Sophie Eiger, Midfielder, North Penn
Shannon Zickler, goalkeeper, Pennridge
Jenna Gould, midfielder, Hatboro-Horsham
Bridget Hess, midfielder, Pennridge
Ashley McKenna, forward, Central Bucks South
Casey Walsh, midfielder, Central Bucks South
Stevi Parker, defender, Pennridge
Colleen McQuate, defender, Central Bucks West
Caitlin Conroy, forward, Souderton
Katelyn Shemp, defender, North Penn
Theresa Wess, defender, Central Bucks East
Molly Grove, forward, Central Bucks South
Jenine Parkinson, midfielder, Hatboro-Horsham
Christine Celenza, defender, North Penn
Alex Shaw, midfielder, Central Bucks East
Rachel Dolly, defender, Quakertown
Sara Senoyuit, forward, Pennridge
Cara Dembrosky, defender, Souderton
Sam Wood, goalkeeper, Central Bucks South
Jen Bradley, goalkeeper, Central Bucks West
Lauren Buchanan-Dwyer, forward, Central Bucks South
Ingrid Moyer, forward, Souderton
Meredith Fox, midfielder, Central Bucks South
Rachel Jastrzebski, defender, Central Bucks West
Julie Sarris, defender, North Penn
Kayla Joseph, forward, Quakertown
Julia Mayer, defender, Quakertown
Melissa Remmey, defender, Central Bucks East
Lindsey Lyons, midfielder, Pennridge
Colleen Eppinger, defender, Hatboro-Horsham
Paige Ruthhardt, defender, Central Bucks East
Karlay Shaffert, midfielder, Hatboro-Horsham
Becca Chylack, goalkeeper, Souderton
Player of the Year – Erin Lafferty, Upper Dublin
Kristina Koutsouros, senior, Cheltenham
Vicki Shivick, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Brittany MacDonald, junior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Samantha Blewitt, senior, Upper Merion
Erin Lafferty, freshman, Upper Dublin
Larissa Nysch, junior, Upper Dublin
Emily Marvill, sophomore, Upper Dublin
Andrea Lewis, freshman, Wissahickon
Liz Corti, senior, Wissahickon
Caroline Mountney, senior, Springfield
Alison Melvin, sophomore, goalkeeper, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Molly McTamney, junior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Jessica Knudson, freshman, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Katie Boyk, senior, Upper Merion
Tracey Kline, sophomore, Upper Merion
Marissa Gaab, senior, Upper Dublin
Brianna Barnes, senior, Upper Dublin
Kristin Kane, senior, Upper Dublin
Alex Schaefer, sophomore, Wissahickon
Lauren Becker, freshman, Wissahickon
Tierney Carabba, junior, Springfield
Kate Cortellessa, senior goalkeeper, Upper Merion
Bethanne Goldman, junior, Cheltenham
Christie Kershaw, junior, Cheltenham
April Doroski, senior, Cheltenham
Andrea Stickley, sophomore, Norristown
Jenny Theiss, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Lisa Ridgeway, senior, Upper Merion
Kristy Graf, junior, Upper Moreland
Marissa Ferguson, sophomore, Upper Dublin
Sam Eckardt, junior, Wissahickon
Jill Simmons, junior, Springfield
Jackie Kershaw, junior goalkeeper, Cheltenham
Rhoda Moise, sophomore, Cheltenham
Alyssa Spencer, junior, Norristown
Jennifer Lurty, freshman, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Meredith Lorenz, junior, Upper Merion
Trisha Connelly, junior, Upper Moreland
Jillian Wasson, senior, Upper Moreland
Samantha Waters, senior, Upper Dublin
Lyn Kern, senior, Wissahickon
Taylor Korancai, sophomore, Springfield
Allie Dayno, sophomore goalkeeper, Upper Dublin
Alyssa King, junior, goalkeeper, Wissahickon