Hudson High senior looks forward after dominant soccer season
By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Hudson High School senior and girls’ varsity soccer captain Sophia DiPlacido did not expect the success both she and her team had last fall. Now, just over three months before her graduation, she is hoping to continue to improve her skills as she enters a new chapter in her life – college.
In 2016, she scored 11 goals and added 10 assists in 19 games, more than doubling her scoring output from her junior year and finishing with the second most points of anyone in the Mid-Watchusett C high school division. From her position as captain, she also helped lead her team to their first playoff spot since 2011.
“She worked really hard,” coach Spencer Fortwengler said. “On days where she had practice, she was the first one in and the last one out. She would stay late and, on weekends, she was putting in the work as well. Her drive to excel was really there. All that harnessed her ability to be as good as she was this year.”
DiPlacido grew up playing soccer. She started when she was 6 years old playing small-fry soccer in Hudson. She advanced to club soccer in fifth grade and still plays on an elite New England Futbol Club (NEFC) team.
“I’ve been doing it for so long and it’s kind of the only sport I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s the one thing I was always good at and loved to play and improve upon. It was always an exciting opportunity to improve more and more.”
When she walked onto the field as a freshman in 2013, she had already impressed coaches and teammates alike with her maturity and the skills she had already developed.
“As a coach, when you’re looking at freshman, you’re really looking for someone who has maturity,” Fortwengler said. “[You’re looking for] someone who has the ability to play physical enough and you’re really looking for someone not only physical enough to play but is also smart enough to play well. She possessed all those skills and really was the kind of person we’re looking for in a player. “
She was not the only player in that position that year. Her classmate Nadia Doherty also made the team as a ninth-grader. The two would play alongside each other for the next four years, morphing from freshmen into senior leaders of the program.
“We’ve changed a lot but we’ve always been good friends,” DiPlacido said. “We’ve always had fun with it, but this year was more fun because we finally got to see the results we wanted.”
Indeed, the two spent years without the results they wanted. The team won just one game in 2013. A year later, they racked up four wins and, in 2015 they struggled through yet another one-win season.
Staring down their final season at Hudson High, DiPlacido and Doherty jumped into their roles as captains and led the team to more wins this fall than they had in any of the previous three years combined. They went 9-8-2.
“I was really surprised by the team success and my own success,” DiPlacido said. “I was not expecting either of those things to happen to be honest.”
Roughly three-and-a-half months after her senior season ended with a playoff loss to Tantasqua Regional High School, DiPlacido is now looking toward the future. She was recently accepted to Roger Williams University and Assumption College but has not decided where she will go after she graduates.
She has, however, decided that she will continue to play soccer in at least some capacity, a decision her coach is happy about.
“It’s nice to see [what she has done], but she has unlimited potential,” Fortwengler said. “She can be as good as she wants to be and I look forward to seeing her play in the future.”
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