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Hilvert: Warriors are deep, ready

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Entering off the heels of an unbeaten 7-0-3 COVID-reduced campaign in 2020, Medfield High School varsity girls soccer enters 2021 confident. Despite graduating six seniors last spring, the Warriors return a significant chunk of their starting lineup and are one of the favorites to win the TVL Large.

Leading Medfield in 2021 will be three senior co-captains: right-back Maya Hilvert, center-back Annie McCarthy and outside midfielder Morgan Reilly. Along with McCarthy and Hilvert, Medfield also gets back senior goalie Izzy Brown and senior left back Bella Gangemi to anchor their defense. On offense, the Warriors return sophomore left striker Kelly Blake, senior center striker Shannon Burns, senior left wing Kaitlyn Barton and junior attacking midfielder Kate Olenik.

"We are definitely coming into the season expecting to be super successful," said Hilvert when asked about her team's general goals and expectations. "We have a special group of girls this year that are all working really hard now and worked really hard in the off-season, so we’re prepared and ready to have a strong season and try to go pretty far in playoffs. Our league has a lot of tough competition so we’re going to have a lot of good games this year, but we think we put ourselves in a position to come out on top in those games, and it’s a huge goal of ours to do so." 

Unlike last fall, the vaccine roll-out and improvements made to combat COVID across the state will allow for fall sports to return to a normal schedule under normal rules this fall. Also back is the MIAA state tournament, which will expand from its normal sectional format to a new state-wide format. Hilvert says the potential return to postseason play has her and her teammates extra motivated

"We are definitely really excited," said Hilvert. "I think last year was hard knowing how much talent we had on the team and having to accept the fact that we weren’t going be able to compete for a state title. But this year we are really excited to get that opportunity again and kind of make up for everything we lost out on last year. COVID has affected a lot of things in a lot of different ways and we’re just really happy that we can finally get back to playing the sport we love without any restrictions."

The Medfield girls will open the 2021 season on the road at Holliston on September 10 at 3:30 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.

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