By Sheri Duff
It should come as no surprise that Charlotte’s Kate Raszka was named the Burlington Free Press 2012 girls soccer player of the year. That’s how Champlain Valley Union head girls soccer coach Brad Parker has been describing his talented center midfielder for years, “Kate is a joy to coach. She is passionate about soccer and a team success both on and off the field,” he continues. “No one works harder than her which is a blessing when combined with her amazing skill level.”
Not only did the CVU girls soccer team only lose four games over the past three seasons, there’s something to be said for Raszka’s leadership, “Kate was an obvious choice for a captains’ role this year,” said coach Parker. “Kate has led by example and shown younger players what it takes to be one of the top players in the state. She is fun to be around and invaluable with team chemistry. She will be a tough one to replace.”
Yes, she will. Raszka saved her best soccer for last. She scored seven goals, had seven helpers, and guided the Redhawks to a 16-1-1 regular season record before winning a second consecutive soccer state championship last month.
Raszka is interested in playing soccer at the next level. “I’m applying early decision to Middlebury College,” she informed. “And I’m hoping to play soccer there,” she added. If past experience is any indicator of future performance, Raszka will remain a top player in the Green Mountain State.
Good things come to those who wait. And Shane Haley’s patience and perseverance, key components of his skill set, are testimony to that fact. Haley, a prolific scorer with 25 goals and six assists including game-winning overtime strikes in the D-I semifinal and title games, helped lead the Champlain Valley Union’s boys soccer team back to state championship form after a three-year hiatus. Haley was named the 2012 boys soccer player of the year by the Burlington Free Press. And he will continue his soccer career at the University of Vermont.