Thornton Academy Head Girls' Soccer coach Natalie Sharland '03 lights up with joy when she begins talking about the sport she loves and her hopes and plans for the program going forward. A former collegiate player and captain at the University of Maine, Sharland is in her first year as head coach. Despite a disappointing start to the season, the team is hopeful for a strong finish and a spot in the playoffs.
The TA girls soccer team is all smiles as they prepare for the second half of their season.
Currently, the varsity team holds a record of 1-6. Sharland points to a very tough opening schedule and a barrage of injuries that have held the team back. At the midpoint of the season, things are beginning to turn around. They have a favorable schedule ahead of them; Sharland states that "every game from here on out is winnable." Their goal of making the playoffs is within reach!
JV coach Tom Rackmales and First Team coach Ellie Arsenault '10 round out the coaching staff and work with Sharland as varsity assistants. Arsenault served as captain of the 2009 team that made it to the State Championship game. Coach Sharland would love to bring the first State Championship Gold Ball to TA and is working to develop a program that strenghtens players both physically and mentally. Her coaching philosophy includes preparing players to be mentally tough, creating a strong team bond, and teaching life lessons through soccer.
To encourage positive chemistry, the team has participated in a couple of fun activities. After two long, hot weeks of preaseason in August, they had a Saturday beach day where they started with yoga on the beach to encourage flexibility, competed in a sand castle making contest and participated in relay races. Later on in the season, Coach Sharland organized an "Amazing Race" scavenger hunt around campus that had the girls running and working as a team to figure out and find clues that had been hidden previously.
Sharland compliments the leadership ability of Hannah McAlary '18 as team captain this year. She has a tireless work ethic that inspires other players to put forth maximum effort to compete for the Trojans.
The TA girls soccer team practices yoga on the beach to develop flexibility.
Alanna Pettaway, Alyanna Beaudoin, Olivia Paradis, Hannah Collins, Natalia Profenno - winners of our sandcastle contest!
The future is bright for TA Girls Soccer!