By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Dover-Sherborn High School varsity girls soccer nearly reached the ultimate prize in 2019. The Raiders rolled their way to a 14-2-2 regular season record before winning the Division III South championship.
Ultimately, the run came to an end in the state semifinals with a 4-0 defeat to Stoneham. With much of their roster back in 2020 the Raiders eyed another long tournament run, but COVID-19 unfortunately prevented such an opportunity. With their season cut down to just 10 TVL games, the Raiders made the most of it with an 8-1-1 record. Still, the abundance of rule changes, combined with not having a postseason, made last fall far from a normal and enjoyable experience.
Thanks to the vaccine roll-out and progress made throughout the past year, high school soccer will make a long awaited return to normal this fall. For the DS girls, this means operation "North Star" is a go.
“The expectations are high this year,” said senior center-back and captain Ava Beninati when asked about her team’s general goals. “The team is all pumped to be back on the field and ready to compete. As always, our ‘North Star’, as we like to say, is winning that state title at the end of the season. We think we have a really good shot at it this year and are looking to top our previous years.”
Along with Beninati, the Raiders will be led senior captain and outside-back Abby DeSalvo. Also returning to lead Dover-Sherborn’s offense are senior UPenn commit Rachel Herman and juniors Elo Luczkow and Waverly Sumner.
In terms of going back to playing a normal schedule under normal rules, Beninati says excitement and appreciation levels amongst the Raiders are high.
“[We are] super excited,” said Beninati. “After a whole year of COVID regulations it just makes being back for tryouts in August without masks that much better. Already feeling super appreciative and we haven’t even started our season yet.”
At the time of print, the DS girls open up their season on the road against rival Medway on September 8 at 5:30 p.m.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.