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Leaving Behind a Legacy

Leaving Behind a Legacy

Now that the state championship trophy for girls soccer is back safe and sound at Cincinnati Country Day School, we can take a sigh of relief and talk a bit about what this team accomplished.

The Nighthawks’ record this year was 22-2 and they collected all three trophies, becoming district, regional, and state champions. At this year’s state final match, the Nighthawks played the same team from last year’s state final – Ottawa-Glandorf. The game-winning goal was scored in the first half by Megan Zimmerman `24 from a corner kicked by her sister, Elizabeth Zimmerman `24. Goalkeeper Alyssa Easter `26 and the backline of defense – Melissa Teke `24, Samantha Easter `24, and Sydney Hardesty `24 – had a shutout throughout the entirety of tournament season, not letting one ball into the back of the net, even when Melissa Teke `24 had to go to the goal line herself to save the ball (without her hands!) in the state final.

While the team consists of 37 girls ranging from freshmen to seniors, 13 out of the 37 are seniors. And this senior class is something special. A lot of people could say that about any senior class, but this senior class has proof to back them up. The Class of 2024 has an outstanding record of 75-9-5 from their four years playing high school soccer. This class has also won two state trophies, one state runner-up trophy, three regional trophies, and four district trophies. That is 10 out of 12 possible trophies that a team can win in four years, which is absolutely remarkable.

The seniors of the 2023 soccer champions.

They also have their own teammates to vouch for just how welcoming they made the experience for everyone on the team. Junior Molly Klekamp says the seniors on the team have “made this year so much more fun and personal” and she wishes “that this wasn’t [her] last year with them.” Molly’s experience was not unique; everyone on the team could easily come up with something remarkable the seniors have done for them.

It’s not just their teammates who have recognized the seniors’ natural leadership and inclusive nature. Our four senior captains, Piper Farris, Sydney Hardesty, Elizabeth Zimmerman, and Megan Zimmerman, have been named 1st team all MVC Conference, Molly Klekamp `25, Josie Hyden `27, and Melissa Teke `24 have been named 2nd team all MVC, and Samantha Easter `24 and Alyssa Easter `26 were given Honorable Mentions. Megan Zimmerman was also named Player of the Year in the MVC Conference. Elizabeth Zimmerman was named Ohio’s D3 Player of the Year and Head Coach Theresa Hirschauer was named All Southwest Ohio Girls D3 Private Coach of the Year by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

While the girls have accomplished all they were hoping for, the seniors are surely leaving behind an inspiring legacy for younger generations to come, and their trophies will be forever displayed and admired in the trophy case by others wishing to accomplish the same.

Written by Marin Lange `25, a member of the 2023 state champion soccer team.