The senior forward and captain is Harriton’s all-time leading girls’ soccer scorer, both for one season and career. This fall, she tallied 15 goals in 16 games. Off the pitch, she is a member of the National Honor Society.
Q: What does it mean to you to be Harriton’s all-time single-season leading girls’ soccer scorer? Were you aware at the time that you had broken the scoring record?
A: I think it’s important to explain how much my team supports me and wanted me to accomplish it. I knew the night that I broke my season record, it was Senior Night and I was so beyond happy I will never forget that moment.
Q: What does it mean to you to be Harriton’s career scoring leader?
A: My career record is especially important to me. My freshman year I experienced a serious concussion and missed about half of the season. It took so much for me to come back after that, but my love for soccer drove me. My sophomore year I was back and healthy and then I tore my meniscus and had to have surgery, putting me out of my sophomore season for more than ¾ of that. The career record was so important to me because it stood for my strength that I had to find in myself to come back and overcome my fears.
Q: Was there one goal that you scored this season that particularly stands out in your memory? Can you share with us how the play developed and your role in it?
A: It was three minutes into the game against Conestoga. My teammate Morgan [Rees] took a shot and the defense didn’t clear it properly. The ball game out to me around the top of the 18 and I volleyed it hard into the top corner. This goal was a turning point for my team. The Harriton girls soccer team had never before scored on Conestoga, and this goal started the upswing in not only the game but in the season.
Q: What do you think was the biggest key to Harriton’s successful season this fall?
A: I think the biggest key to our success this season was how close we were as a team. Claire [Coyle] and I worked very hard to create a family, not only a team. We wanted an atmosphere where everyone could feel comfortable sharing their fears and passions. We made sure to create a space that everyone knew they could succeed.
Q: What (to you) has been the most memorable moment of the season? Can you share with us your memories of that moment?
A: I think to me one of the most memorable moments of the season was definitely Senior Night. On Senior Night we were playing Upper Darby, and we were up 5-0, and out of sportsmanship, Harriton girls’ soccer will never score more than six goals on a team. Coach [Jeff] Rhodes told Claire [Coyle] and I that one of us could have the last goal. At that point in time, I was still chasing my career record and I really wanted as many goals as possible, but Claire was going out on the field as a field player. I already had my goal that night and now it was time for my other senior captain to share that glory. It became extremely important to me that Claire would score. We were 20 seconds into the first half and one of my center mids sent me a really nice ball into the corner. I beat one defender and crossed the ball to Claire to finish near post. The ball hit the back of the net and I ran and jumped into Claire’s arms (which had become the go to celebration when either one of us scored). In that moment I think I was the happiest I have ever been in my life, and definitely during the season.
Q: You wear No. 14 for Harriton. Is there a reason you chose that number?
A: Throughout my life that number has come up in some very random places, but also in places that are very important to me. It seems to have a reoccurring them in my family when it comes to dates. It has become my lucky number.
Q: Have you always played forward?
A: Most of my younger years of soccer I played a center midfield position. It wasn’t until when I was around 11 years old, my coach of the Rose Tree Rockets pulled me aside and said, “You have an impressive knack for the goal, you are going to play forward for the next game,” and it kinda stuck.
Q: Who have been your top soccer mentors, and what has been the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: I think that my top soccer mentors are those that have coached me, people like Vail Jacoby, Mo, Dave Richards, and even my dad at certain points. Each one brought tremendous qualities to my game, but I think one of the most important things is that all of them helped me grow as a individual off the field – they made me who I am today.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game?
A: I think the strongest part of my game is my field vision. I can see things developing 5 steps before they happen and place passes in seems that only I can see.
Q: What part of your game are you working the most on at the present time?
A: One part of my game that I am currently working on the most is my movement off the ball; I need to learn to be more creative and active when I don’t have the ball.
Q: What is your favorite school subject? What do you think you would like to major in at college?
A: My favorite school subject is history. I would really like to double major in History and Education in college and minor in psychology.
Q: Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: I would really love to be a high school history teacher and my dream is to coach a high school soccer team. That would be as good as it gets for me.
Samantha Bigham’s top picks
Book: “The Hunger Games Series – all of them!”
TV show: “FRIENDS can always make me smile.”
Movie: She’s The Man.
Pre-game pump-up song: Sun is Shining, by Axwell ^ Ingrosso.
Athlete: “Definitely Abby Wambach.”
Historical figure: “Lucretia Mott because she was a famous Quaker woman who fought against slavery and for women’s rights.”
Team: U.S. women’s national soccer team.
Place to visit: St. John, Virgin Islands.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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