By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
Grafton – Three Grafton High School Girls’ Varsity soccer players earned recognition at this year’s Central Mass Soccer Coaches Association (CMSCA) All Stars Awards Banquet Jan. 7.
Erin Tyldesley, Liliana Silva, and goaltender Maddie Murphy were each named Division I all-stars while Tyldesley and Murphy also earned all-state selections. Finally, the CMSCA awarded Murphy all-New England recognition at the event.
“When you have three players like that, it’s a lot of fun,” said Head Coach Bill Wilhide. “It’s a lot of fun to watch [them play].”
Tyldesley netted 18 goals this fall and assisted on 11 others as her team’s top scorer.
Not far behind, Silva scored 13 times with six assists.
Murphy, meanwhile was statistically the best goaltender in her league, allowing just nine goals in 16 games. Her .56 goals-against-average was nearly half that of the next best goalie in the league, according to the Worcester Telegram.
“She just loves the game,” said Murphy’s father, Brian Murphy. “So it has been fun to watch her grow as a person and lead that team to a nice record this season and into the postseason.”
Grafton went 16-4 overall this year. Their 11-0 league record earned them the top spot in the Southern Worcester County League A. The team then played its way into a quarterfinal matchup with Nashoba, which Grafton lost 1-0.
With that team set to graduate both Murphy and Tyldesley this spring, Coach Wilhide, who retired from coaching after this season, said he is confident in the team’s younger players’ abilities to fill those holes in their lineup.
Looking back on the year, Wilhide said he hopes those younger players learned from their all-star teammates.
“I’ve seen these girls work for three, four years to get to where they are,” he said. “It’s well deserved. I don’t know how else to say it. I hope the younger players see that because these three girls worked really hard. Not only do they have great skills, but their work ethic is very commendable.”