This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.09/23/2022 12:03 PM
Sam Adams always puts her team’s goals first while competing for the North Haven girls’ soccer squad. Sam recognizes the importance of teamwork and cooperation as the senior leads North Haven with her work ethic. Sam’s desire to succeed has inspired her teammates, and her efforts in the backfield have given the Nighthawks an opportunity to compete in the SCC landscape.
A big part of Sam’s success stems from the relationships that she shares with her senior teammates. Sam and the Nighthawks’ senior captains—Giavanna Damone, Aisling Pretty, and Ilana Blumenthal—have all shared the field with one another throughout their soccer careers. Those experiences have created a strong bond among the four seniors as they begin their final years at North Haven.
“Since a lot of my friends from the middle school team were doing it, I decided to try it out,” says Sam of soccer. “I’ve been playing with these girls, especially the senior group now, that I know them really well and we play well together. I think we communicate really well in the back, and so I think that translates into us playing well on the field.”
Last year, Sam helped the Nighthawks advance to the quarterfinal round of the Class L State Tournament after they won their first two games in the draw. Sam feels proud that North Haven has been able to succeed while competing in the SCC despite having a relatively small team.
“For the past couple years, our team has been kind of smaller than it usually is. Everyone just has to work a little harder and really be on top of everything, so that we can play these teams that are bigger than ours,” Sam says. “It transferred into this year, because we still have a small roster. Everybody’s been working together nicely, and we all want to win.”
This season, Sam’s leadership as a senior defender is providing a stabilizing presence for North Haven. Sam and the Nighthawks have their eyes set on competing into the latter part of October, and they know that everyone is going to have to do their part in order for the team to advance. Sam plans to do everything she can to ensure that both she and her teammates are playing their best soccer this fall.
“Since this is probably going to be my last season playing soccer, I just want try to work to be the best I can and to help the team get as a far as we can in states,” says Sam. “Personally, I just need to keep working hard and really try during the games and practices, so I can better myself and everyone around me.”
Head Coach Gary Collins views Sam as an integral player for North Haven. Collins feels confident in Sam’s ability to make contributions in multiple areas for the Nighthawks. That type of versatility stands out to Collins and serves as a great example for the younger players to follow. Coach Collins also admires the sportsmanship that Sam displays to both her teammates and opposing players.
“She’s a hard worker and determined. She gives her all in practices. You put her in games, and it’s the same way she plays,” Collins says of Sam. “She’s a good role model to a lot of the younger players. It’s a good, positive thing to have Sam with us on the field and on the team.”
Ever since she’s been a member of the program, Sam has taken the time to emphasize the importance of teamwork to her fellow Nighthawks. While the team faces stiff competition every season, Sam knows that North Haven can overcome the challenges through encouragement and their belief in each other.
“The best part of the team is the team. We all spend a lot of time together,” says Sam. “Everybody all has the same goals, so we all work hard and push each other to win.”
Sam wants to improve her own game in order to help North Haven succeed in her farewell season. Sam is going to continue working as hard as she can in her quest to make the 2022 a memorable year for the Nighthawks.
“You have to be willing to work for something. If you want to be good at something, you have to keep practicing and keep working towards it, so that you can achieve whatever goals you have in mind,” Sam says. “I do a good job being aggressive and persistent. Even if it seems as it’s going to be tough, I just keep going at it.”
Sam knows that her senior season at North Haven is going to be especially meaningful. Sam is hoping to combine her enjoyment of soccer with a feeling of satisfaction from success, and she’s driven to see that dream become a reality.
“I’m kind of excited, but it’s also kind of sad, because it’s going to be my last season here,” says Sam. “I’m just excited to finish it out, hopefully, with a win at states.”