Striker keeps ‘Skins’ string intact
Correspondent Watching a great athlete perform always proves captivating. You marvel at her every move, almost to the point of losing sight of a given game’s score or action.
Megan Schafer, Neshaminy soccer standout, is just such a performer. Though only a junior, her exploits on D sRccHr fiHOd hDYH DOrHDdy gained her recognition on a local and national level. At the end of a highly successful sophomore campaign, Megan was named AllAmerican by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). She had already been granted an all-state selection and a SODcH Rn WhH firsW WHDP AOOSOL team. Her freshman year, she was the SOL National Conference Player of the Year.
Not a bad list of credentials for just two years of scholastic competition. The personable Middletown resident enters her junior year having already scored 42 goals and recorded 31 assists.
More impressive than the glowing credentials, however, is Megan’s teamoriented attitude. She readily admits she loves soccer because, “It’s a team sport. You never want to set individual goals alone. It’s better if you have 20 assists and four goals. You do whatever you have to do to make the team become better.”
Megan knows however, that the Redskins fare better if she puts the ball in the back of the enemy’s net. Seven games into this season she has already scored 16 goals, including three hat tricks. “I play striker or forward and my main responsibility is to score goals. Also, we play two up top so I want to help the others score. You want to get everyone else involved.”
Realizing her talents are going to make her a marked man, Megan relishes this year’s Redskin team balance. “In a lot of the games, there is pressure on me but a lot of teams don’t know about all the other offensive weapons we have. If I get the ball and am tripleteamed, I can use my teammates and they can show their talents. I need to keep all my options open and always look for my teammates.”
After dropping a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime game to Downingtown West in the season opener, the ‘Skins have reeled off eight straight impressive victories. In that span, they held a 44-2 scoring margin. They have shutout their last seven opponents and are currently 6-0 in the highly competitive SOL National Division.
Such dominance usually
entails a total team effort. “The coach made a couple of switches in the beginning of the season and our defense is doing great. Our goalie has seven shutouts and the defense is holding strong. Also, we’ve scored a lot of goals in the past couple of games so we have a potent offensive team.”
The Redskins knew they would need such a balanced attack when they took on Council Rock North last FULGDy Ln D EDWWOH IRU fiUsW place.
“We knew going in we were both undefeated in the league. We expect a battle every time we play CR North or CR South and Pennsbury because we are such rivals. It didn’t matter what happened last year when we were their only loss. They lost a lot of players but that didn’t matter either. We knew we would have to play our best.”
Tellingly, Megan felt the game’s outcome might hinge on defensive stops. “We knew they had this one girl, Nicole Moonan, and wH hDG RnH RI RuU PLGfiHOGers, cran Donato on her and she barely touched the ball. That was one of the main goals of the game to stop her.”
The Redskins’ offensive strategy was simple. “We wanted to use our talent and speed. We have Erin carrell on the right side and her sister dabby up top. We wanted to take them on one by one.”
The plan worked to perfection as dabby carrell scored off an assist from Megan with only two minutes gone in the game. “I had a touch and then dabby took the shot and it went in.”
The game remained scoreless until the 74th minute when Megan took a Nicole Nisivoccia pass and booted the ball by the CR goalie.
“It was a great ball from Nicole. It was a through ball. I beat the defender and was faced with a situation I love. The goalie had to FRPH RuW DnG , MusW finLshHG it.”
The 2-0 win left the ‘Skins with an unblemished 6-0 National Conference reFRUG DnG sROH hROG Rn fiUsW place. With their talented striker setting the pace, they GHfinLWHOy DUH DLPLng IRU Dn exciting march to the postseason playoffs.
Nicole Nisivoccia and Michaela
Neshaminy’s Megan Schafer shows deft footwork with the ball.
Erin Farrell and Anna Budny go all out for ball in Skins win over Council Rock North in a battle of unbeatens.
Neshaminy’s Jamie Mason (L) and Council Rock North’s Sarah Cannon perform soccer ballet in recent matchup between the schools.