Bryn Mawr >> Three years ago, Baldwin School soccer coach Adrian Cox was looking for a way to bring the Bryn Mawr community together. With three schools situated less than two miles apart from each other, he spawned the idea of the soccer teams at Baldwin, Shipley and Haverford School to join forces and play a doubleheader.
With each school excited about the idea, “The Battle of Bryn Mawr’ was born. The doubleheader has been a hit each year to kick off the school year,
While the Baldwin-Shipley girls’ soccer contest took place Sept. 5, the boys’ portion of the annual event was unable to be held the same day this year due to scheduling. This season, Shipley and Haverford boys’ teams will play at a later date at Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Union.
“This game is a special moment for us especially as seniors,” said Baldwin senior Ceila Page. “ It has been four years and it really does bring the community together and it’s a great way to kick off the season. I look forward to it every year.”
Baldwin sophomore Taylor Levinson said, “We know a lot of people at Shipley, and even though we are rivals we also do work together in a way that is really special. Shipley is a school that we respect but really want to beat.”
Shipley senior Elie Shapiro added, “This is a great game. Last year we were the away team and we walked over to Baldwin and it was a great way for the team to bond. It’s a great way to kick off the season. Our schools are close by and it’s a great game altogether.”
When the Baldwin and Shipley girls’ soccer teams first did battle three years ago, both teams were starting the process of finding their identity.
Fast forward three years and both teams are now on the rise in their respective leagues. Baldwin registered its highest ever finish in the Inter-Ac last season (second place) while Shipley has advanced to the Friends’ Schools League championship game in consecutive seasons (winning in 2016).
While talent has certainly helped both teams, Baldwin coach Adrian Cox and Shipley coach Dakota Carroll have been able to share their knowledge of the game to help their talent get better.
“I am looking forward to this season,” Shapiro said. “We have great coaches who push us to do our best and be our best.”
Page said, “My time here (at Baldwin) has been very special. We have grown so close as a team and have had success due to that connection. Our coaches have been a big part of that and together we have been able to take this program to new heights.”
With the sun beating down on the players, the Bears and Gators battled to a 0-0 tie Sept. 5 despite each team having scoring opportunities. Baldwin senior Gia Vicari had some opportunities early while junior Liv Hamilton and sophomore Mackenzie Medina had their own scoring chances for Shipley.
Cox and Carroll can take comfort that senior leadership will play key roles for their respective squads in the season ahead.
“The seniors have taught me so much,” said Levinson, who plays defense for Baldwin. “They stayed composed throughout the game and I have learned from their example.”
Shipley sophomore midfielder Katie Bergen said, “The seniors consistently tell us to keep working hard, and the more we prove in practice the better we are in games and the more awareness we bring to the program. The seniors fill our minds with positivity.”
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