I was at the Magicians first varsity soccer game of the season against Lynnfield at Pioneer Stadium and had watched the team scrimmage roughly a week prior to that. At that scrimmage, I learned from Head Coach John Dormer that the team was incredibly young, but had a lot of talent, they just needed to get some reps in to combine that talent with a bit of experience.
What stood out in that first game was the team’s resiliency, and little did I know that they needed to (and would) stay resilient throughout the season. It was an exciting, but frustrating game because both teams were playing so well on defense that nobody could score. Finally, with just about no time left, Cait Mullins put the team on her back and scored the winning goal.
After the game, I spoke with Mullins about the goal, and there was one word that struck me in her answer.
In that moment, she was referring to keeping composure in the final minutes as the game was tied. But that word is what the team lived by as the season went on, and more obstacles got in its way.
On senior night, I chatted with Dormer before the game, and he mentioned that the entire starting lineup had not played even a full half of game time together this season between injuries and COVID complications. Yet, the team was remarkably holding a record of 5-3-5 and won that night against Gloucester, even still with a number of injuries.
Composure is the only way teams get through situations like that. Composure was the reason that Marblehead made it into the Division Two State Tournament as a 17 seed with a 9-4-5 record.
Stoughton got the better of them in the round of 32, but just barely. They lost 2-1 in a nail biter, but what the girls accomplished in that regular season is something they can hang their hats on.
There’s no doubt the team can play, I’ve seen it first hand. Dormer has instilled in them the importance of dominating possession of the ball, as it leads to more scoring chances, and the team is incredibly sound on defense.
This was a team that included 11 freshmen in some capacity at the beginning of the year and with the starters playing less than 40 minutes combined during the regular season, they still managed to grab nine wins.
Mullins and the other five seniors have undoubtedly made their mark on the program. Even with the up and down season they had, their leadership kept the team composed.
There was nothing that this team didn’t deal with this season, and that composure that the Magicians carried with them from the first game, up until the last, will flow right into next season, where they will be a force to be reckoned with.