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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

New Roster, Same Results for Clarence Girls Soccer

The Clarence girls soccer team has been and probably always will be considered a favorite in ECIC I and Class AA. But after losing 17 seniors – including several current Division I college players – it seemed like the Red Devils were going to take a step back.

First-year coach Dave Stephan understood that outlook – and that’s exactly the way he wanted it to be for the Red Devils. The roster is completely different for Clarence. The results are not.

The new-look Red Devils entered October with an 11-1 record overall and a 9-1 ECIC I mark. So much for the thought that Clarence was in for a down year.

“You know, I think that was a good thing,” Stephan said of his team’s lowered expectations.

“Everyone knew we lost 17 seniors and I kind of wanted it to sit that way and have everyone thinking, ‘Clarence is going to be OK this year. We have a shot at them.’ Good, it was an intended thought, I wanted them to think we were going to be able to be pushed over.”

“But you know,” he added, “it was nothing more than changing a lot of girls’ positions this year. And that’s why we’ve got a nice offensive powerhouse going.”

The face of the new era has been senior forward Anna Davies. She has 26 goals and 13 assists for 65 points, best on the team in all three categories. But Davies isn’t about to reflect on personal glory – not when team goals are on the line.

“For that I just have to say thank you to all of my teammates,” she said. “They help me out so much. It’s been an amazing result from the whole team. We have great balance and great hard work. Everyone’s got each other’s back and we listen to our coach. It’s a simple game and we’re going to play that way.”

Davies’ selfless attitude towards her big season is commendable – but it’s also accurate.

Clarence still has many superstars on the roster. Emma Faso has nine goals and 11 assists, fourth-year senior Riley Bowers has 11 goals and two assists, Lauren Cullinan has four goals and eight assists, Gabrielle Loewer has contributed five goals and eight assists and Hannah Spitzer has eight assists for Clarence.

After a run to the state semifinals last season, led by some all-time great seniors such as Sydney Cerza, the program’s all-time leading scorer, star goalkeeper Molly Barden and many other standouts, this year’s Red Devils are looking to show the program continues at the top regardless of graduation.

“We try to keep building every year,” Davies said. “Our goal is to win states and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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