By Douglas Maxwell Myer, Contributing Writer
Grafton – In the fall, senior captain Cayla D’Amico was ranked as the top scorer of her soccer team for a second year. She has also received numerous honors throughout her four-year career as a Grafton High School varsity player, including a first team South Worcester County League All Star position from her sophomore to senior year, a Central Mass. All Star title from her sophomore through senior year, and an All State title during her senior year.
With all of these accomplishments, many colleges were eager to have D’Amico enrolled in their school and offered a scholarship to play for their soccer team. Many options were open for the young athlete, but D’Amico chose to attend Bryant University and will be playing next fall for the Bryant Bulldogs.
D’Amico, who has lived in Grafton since she was 4, said her inspiration to play soccer came when she watched her older brother taking part in the sport. He proved to be an athlete she looked up to and both of them were very competitive playing against each other.
When D’Amico was 5, she started to play town soccer and after a few years her skills had brought her to the club soccer level. She took part in several club soccer teams while growing up, including the Stars of Mass. team where she has been playing for about eight years.
As a freshman at Grafton High, D’Amico made it onto the school’s varsity team and made great contributions as a player.
“I’ve played almost every position except for goalie,” D’Amico said. “In high school I play mostly center mid[field], where I would say my strength is distributing the ball to the forwards. In club, I play anywhere on the wings where I use my speed going forward.”
D’Amico is a versatile player who is able to handle whatever faces her in a game. She thinks the most challenging factors of playing soccer are maintaining a good touch on the ball and having full field awareness.
As a junior, she was chosen to become one of the captains of the varsity team. D’Amico said she considers the two years of being a leader one of her proudest achievements at Grafton High School. She enjoyed using her knowledge of soccer to teach the younger players how to use their strengths.
In February, D’Amico officially received her scholarship to play on Bryant’s soccer team. She said Bryant has always been her top choice school since she was a sophomore.
“I hope to get a lot of playing time as a freshman,” she said. “I hope to learn more about leadership roles and hard work, as I will be showing a lot of commitment with training, games, and everything else that comes with playing a division one sport.”
As D’Amico makes the transition from high school to college, the Grafton athlete stands to have a very promising future.
“Soccer has taught me how to work as a team and lead others,” she said. “I hope that what I’ve learned in my many years of playing soccer will carry over to my future endeavors at Bryant University on and off the field.”