Each of the seven senior Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ soccer players don’t plan on becoming education majors next year in college, but they are looking to impart valuable messages this fall to the team’s 16 underclassmen.
“Graduating seven seniors is always something that usually puts a dent in things, but I don’t see that happening in the future,” senior goalkeeper Hannah Ashcraft said. “I think that it’s going to get better and they’re going to become better.”
Lauren DeWeese and Cassidy Karl have each spent five years with the varsity program, and both learned from their early role models on the Spartans.
“I know I’ve learned from the girls that I played with; I was a little eighth-grader and I looked up to the seniors — and I was scared to death of them,” DeWeese said. “I think it really did help me. It shaped me into the player who I am today.”
“I think a big thing that we learned was to make sure that you’re friendly with the younger kids. You don’t want them to fear you,” Karl said. “You want to be their best friend and help them get through everything you’ve gotten through on the team.”
Besides Burnt Hills’ co-captains Ashcraft, DeWeese and Karl, the Spartans’ seniors include Carmela Jada, Katie Ramos, Chelsea Speranza and Camden Woodbeck.
Some of the guidance from this year’s Burnt Hills seniors centered around making the best of your situation and keeping a positive outlook. That mentality was needed as the Spartans wondered throughout the summer if they’d get to have a fall soccer season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Going through the group chats even before the season, it was all about, ‘Are we going or not [to have a season]?” Ashcraft said.
During the preseason, the 16 underclassmen made their impact on the seven seniors.
“A lot of our younger girls, they’re what drives this team and motivate us,” Karl said. “They work so hard.”
Part of being a role model and captain is helping the underclassmen rebound after a loss.
The Spartans fell to Guilderland 3-0 on the road last Saturday for their first loss of the season.
“It’s tough,” DeWeese said. “It wasn’t our day.
Coach Marisah Boucher took over the varsity program full-time this year after stepping up from the modified level following the departure of head coach Brian Bold last season. While Burnt Hills is off to a successful start this fall, Boucher is confident, too, that more strong years are ahead.
“They’re great role models for the younger girls to keep developing this program,” Boucher said of her seniors. “I’m hoping that these seven seniors will leave an impact and continue the legacy of tradition never graduates.”