Harriton girls’ soccer enjoying memorable season

With the PIAA District One Class AAA girl’s soccer playoffs looming, Harriton seniors Claire Coyle and Samantha Bigham remember their last appearance three years ago as if it were yesterday.

“We played West Chester Rustin in the first round and lost badly,” said Coyle following her team’s 2-1 win over visiting Springfield (Delco) Oct. 15. “It was horrible and I have a good feeling we will do better this time.”

Since their freshman year, the duo has been front and center to witness the peaks and valleys. Hoping their senior year would be different the pair did not think it would be this memorable.

“Pre-season started differently than past seasons,” Bigham said. “This team has been one of the closest teams I have been a part of and one of the keys has been how well we support each other on and off the field. This team builds each other up and it has made for a memorable season.”

After starting off with four straight losses, the Rams held a team meeting and since that time the Rams have been on a roll going unbeaten in their last nine contests including two draw and defeating Conestoga, Haverford and Radnor for the first time in school history in the same season.

“This year has been absolutely amazing,” said Coyle, who has committed to play soccer at Wesleyan next fall. “We had some tough losses to start the year but this team has stuck together and ever since we had a team meeting early in the year we have been on a roll. It’s wonderful having a group that won’t give up.”

Harriton girls’ soccer head coach Jeff Rhodes said, “Our season has been successful thus far but not only in the wins and losses category. Each time a challenging situation knocks on our door, the team shows its resiliency by bonding together to answers the challenge. This team has learned a lot throughout the season and has become better in each game.”

Leading the attack has been Bigham who has tallied 10 goals this season (which is believed to be a school record), Coyle who has been stellar in net during the streak along with junior Nadine Horneck, sophomore Morgan Rees and freshmen Filippa Graneld and Reilly Short.

“Our seniors (Claire & Samantha) have been really important to our success,” said Short. “They keep us motivated and focused at practice. They were also really helpful in the beginning of the year telling us what was expected of us on and off the field and where to go at the beginning of the school year to help me get acclimated to high school.”

“This season will ultimately go down as one of the most successful seasons for Harriton girls soccer,” Rhodes said. “Through hard work, determination and the ability to connect off the field, Sammie and Claire have brought this team to a different level of competition. After all, as a striker and keeper they are literally and figuratively the bookends of our team.”


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