The Hopkinton High School girls soccer team, led by first-year head coach Wayne Sygrove, wants to accomplish something that has not happened since any of the team’s current players were born: win the Tri-Valley League.
“I asked the players to come up with some team goals they have and straightaway, their first goal is, ‘We feel we have enough talent to win the Tri-Valley League,’ ” Sygrove said. “That’s something they have not done in quite a while; they said 1993 was the last time. But they feel there is no reason they can’t be in a position to win the league.”
Hopkinton returns a number of players with varsity experience, including five seniors. The Hillers did suffer a setback in losing one of those seniors, Corinne Messier, to a knee injury. Several other players, however, are poised to lead the team this fall.
Midfielder Sydney Macdonald is one of the team’s captains.
“She is a physical presence in the midfield,” Sygrove said. “She is very athletic, very strong and she is going to be a key in the midfield.”
Senior goalkeeper Natalie Calkins and defensive standout Olivia O’Connor, a junior, return to anchor a defense that was among the area’s best a season ago.
“They did not concede many goals,” Sygrove said. “But they struggled in the attacking aspect of the game. So that is something we are looking to maintain, a good defensive team, but we are looking to create more opportunities to get players to advance forward and score.”
Sophomore Lillian York is a creative midfielder who Sygrove said should boost the team’s offense. Junior Delaney Mick is another athletic feared with good speed.
“She always seems to find a way to be in the right place at the right time to score goals,” Sygrove said.
“Overall, I think we are a good team with a lot of depth,” the coach added.
Sygrove, who hails from Yorkshire, England, is in his first year as the varsity head coach but is familiar with the sport in Hopkinton. In his role with the New England Revolution Academy he has worked with athletes from the town.
Hopkinton scrimmaged Foxboro and navigated the oppressive late summer heat through tryouts and early-season workouts.
“It was a good opportunity to try different players in different spots,” Sygrove said. “And see what we have as a team in game situations.”