East Granby girls’ soccer team relies on senior leadership

By Kathryn Elliott - Reminder News
East Granby - posted Wed., Nov. 9, 2011
Senior Carlynn DeVane makes the steal from Stafford and drives downfield. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Senior Carlynn DeVane makes the steal from Stafford and drives downfield. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

On Friday, Oct. 21, the East Granby High School girls’ soccer team took the field against Stafford. In a tight offensive battle, coach Jill Piekarski led the varsity team to a 1-0 victory, in large part thanks to the senior leadership of Carlynn DeVane (C), Caroline Eastman (C), Missy Kulik, Katelynn Vanags, Brianna Raymes, Brianna Ayers, Becca Eisch and Valerie Price.

In her fourth season with the team, center midfielder DeVane commented on Piekarski’s coaching technique. “She [coach] always says what you put in at practice reflects within the game,” DeVane said. Also a member of EGHS track and field team, DeVane plans to study marketing in college.

Keeper Ayers returned to the Lady Crusaders’ after a two-year break. “I tore my ACL and took some time off,” she said. With hopes of studying music and psychology, Ayers is researching four-year colleges.

All-Conference defender Kulick comes from a soccer family. “Everyone in my house plays,” she said. “This has been a great year for our team. My favorite game was against Ellington. After the win, we all ran out and jumped on each other!”

Midfielder Vanags recounted off-field special moments. “We have great pasta parties and team bonding nights,” she said. When asked for the best advice coach has ever given, she replied, “‘It is what it is; deal with it and move on.’”

At center midfield, Price plans on studying psychology in college. “Coach tells us to speak up; good ideas need to be heard. I think that applies in life, too,” she said.

Eisch, a member of the team in her freshman and senior years, commented on the importance of persistence. “If a 5-year-old girl came to me, considering playing soccer, I’d tell her to go for it and never give up, stay focused and have fun with it,” she said.

“You’ve got to want it,” Eastman reiterated Piekarski’s pre-game words. “My favorite all-time EG soccer moment was our game under the lights in 2010. We really came together and it showed.”

Midfielder Raymes offered wisdom to young players. “Soccer is a sport you can play your entire life,” she said. “Stick with it. You may fail at first, but keep going and you’ll love it.”


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