Extra Motivation Leading to Results for North Harford Girls Soccer

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Few teams will have as much purpose and motivation when they take the field this Fall as the North Harford girls soccer team.

The Hawks are dedicating this season to Tom Berg, who was the only girls soccer coach North Harford had until the Fall of 2016. Berg found out he had a rare blood cancer last year, and passed away this past Spring after complications following a blood transfusion.

"We're playing for Tom Berg. Winning for Tom, and not just for ourselves, has been a motivating factor on and off the field," head coach Molly VanDorick said. "The girls decided they would like to pay respect to him before each game with a moment of silence."

As tough as Berg's passing has been for everyone involved with the program, there's no doubt the extra motivation is helping.

North Harford is 3-0 and outscoring opponents 8-3 in the process. Two of those wins came against Dulaney and Patterson Mill, in the Coach Berg Memorial Tournament hosted at North Harford.

The 3-1 victory in the tournament championship against Patterson Mill, which has reached the MPSSAA 1A state title game the past two years, was particularly exciting for the group.

"At times during the game it was down pouring," VanDorick said. "Last year, Patterson Mill beat us 4-1 in the tournament and 2-0 in the regular season."

The group's three wins already gives North Harford half the wins the group registered last year. The Hawks were young in 2016 after graduating 15 seniors, but the group still managed a .500 mark of 6-6, something which encouraged VanDorick.

This year, the team is benefiting from the experience it gained in 2016. A trio of juniors have been the catalysts for the team's success, starting with center midfielder Kara Kramer, who has two goals and one assist. Forward Marley Copes and center fullback Maddie Schwarz have also played quite well, and both have a goal.

While those three have stood out, VanDorick is quite pleased with how the group has played as a whole, and expects that to continue.

"Many of our players have experience on both varsity and club level soccer. It shows on the field," VanDorick said. "Our strength will be playing together as a team and moving as one unit on the field. Last year, we lacked in taking shots on the field. This year, we have already equaled the amount of shots from last year's season in three games."

It's early days, but if the Hawks' start is any indication, 2017 has the potential to be a special season. For VanDorick, she hopes her group continues work hard and respect the game as Berg did.

"Our goal this year is to play for Tom Berg and come out with a winning season," VanDorick said. "I want the girls to work hard and leave everything on the field, but have fun at the same time. The team is continuing to learn new concepts during practice, and as a coach it is a joy to watch them apply it seamlessly during games."
September 8th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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