Mohonasen 7th-grader Mullin showing girls’ soccer talent beyond her years

Mohonasen's Ella Mullin at practice Wednesday.
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Mohonasen's Ella Mullin at practice Wednesday.

ROTTERDAM — When it came to her new teammate Ella Mullin, Mohonasen girls’ soccer player Hannah Bachorik thought her teammates were playing a joke on her.

“When she first got up here, I had no idea she was a seventh-grader,” Bachorik , a junior, said. “Everyone told me, I didn’t believe them. But then once I found out and we started playing together, it was so instinctual. She’s a phenomenal player. You would not expect that from a seventh-grader.”

Mullin’s 24 goals and 17 assists in the Mighty Warriors’ 14 games would be eye-catching for modified or junior varsity, but on the varsity level in the Colonial Council, it’s amazing. Mullin joined an already young-and-talented squad, but made it even better, as Mohonasen is 11-2 in the league, 12-2 overall and ranked 15th in the state Class A poll.

Mullin is only 12 years old and shy, but when asked what her long-term goals are, she’s clear.

“I want to score a lot of goals. And play college at [University of] North Carolina,” Mullin said.

Mullin was a known presence on the Mohonasen sidelines before joining varsity.

“Going back to our regional run in 2019, Ella was actually our ball girl, so she’s been around the program for quite some time,” said coach Clint DeMyer.

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Mullin had to pass the Athletic Placement Process, which seeks to ensure that seventh-and eighth-grade students who want to play on the junior varsity or varsity level are physically, emotionally and academically ready to do so. But according to her, that wasn’t hard. She played with the varsity girls during the summer and fit in naturally, according to DeMyer.

“Everyone was, like, ‘What grade is she in,’ thinking she’s some sort of sophomore transfer,” DeMyer said. “Come to find out she’s a seventh-grader. I think her play speaks for the rest.”

DeMyer recognized Mullin’s age could be an issue, but her teammates have been welcoming from the start.

“I had an idea we were bringing her up,” DeMyer said. “I wasn’t certain until I really got into preseason, but when the girls were asking me, ‘Is Ella going to make varsity as a seventh-grader?’ I was, like, ‘I don’t know.’ And they said, ‘We need her.’ They bought in right away to her talent. Sometimes you would think they would push her away, but no, they try to bring her closer. It’s a good group of kids, which makes it easy for me as a coach.”

Mullin is the first seventh-grader brought up to varsity, though DeMyer said he brought up current juniors Catelyn Hodge, Sarah Leclerc and Bachorik as eighth-graders during the team’s Section II championship run in 2019. He also has two eighth-graders on this year’s team.

“So where it’s not common to bring up middle-schoolers, when their talent is undeniable, we don’t want to leave them where they don’t belong,” DeMyer said.

The nearly 5-foot-6 Mullin plays on the left wing to take advantage of her strong left foot. She admits that sometimes bigger players knock her down. Mullin agreed that her teammates have been nice, though she noted  “sometimes Sarah yells at me,” before flashing a quick grin to indicate it’s all good.

“We play on opposite wings,” Bachorik said, “so having the connection we have, we’re super dynamic together, being able to play the correct balls to each other, and we’re both pretty fast, so it’s nice having each other. And we know where each other is supposed to be.”

While shy being interviewed, Mullin isn’t so shy on the field.

“She started out that way, but as soon as she was feeling welcome and like she belonged, she started demanding some things, and it’s the right things,” DeMyer said. “She wants her teammates to play at the right level, and she wants to be put in the right positions. She acts like she’s a senior on the field.”

DeMyer said this year’s team obviously wants to advance as far as it can in the playoffs, but added that it’s laying a foundation.

“They kind of surprise us every year,” DeMyer said. “People said, ‘This will be a rebuilding year, you have one senior.’ But then we go and rip off [12] wins so far, beating some good teams and battling until the end against some other very good teams.”

Still, that future has Bachorik also excited for her senior year.

“Having [one senior] and knowing next year, like, we’re going to dominate next year,” Bachorik said.

More: All Sports Everything Rotterdam

Categories: High School Sports, Rotterdam, Sports, Sports

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