How My Soccer Team Met Sam Mewis


As a seventh grader at Notre Dame Academy, I play soccer on the freshman team. But, I also play for Synergy Soccer, a soccer club based in Hanover.  This is the story of how my Synergy team and I met Sam Mewis.

The GU12 Synergy Premier club soccer team, made of seventeen talented girls eager for victory, was sloping downhill.  We were placed in the 11 vs. 11 U13 bracket for our age group in a tournament in August.  We dominated the play, but ended up on the losing side of the scoreboard.  The opposing girls were older, tougher and stronger;  they also had played together longer.  Our team’s level of confidence had been brought down.  During the regular season we played 11 vs. 11 again, but this time in the Elite U12 bracket.  We played through three tough games, losing each one by many goals.  Sometimes we didn’t find the back of the net at all, and other times we couldn’t bring the ball past the half-field line.  Our confidence and teamwork level was lowered by every loss.  The coaches could see that we were starting to fall behind, and that is how I met Western New York Flash midfielder Sam Mewis.

Sam Mewis, a Hanson, Massachusetts native, played soccer at UCLA and won many awards, including a silver medal with the U-17 team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2008. Sam was selected by the Flash in the 2015 NWSL College Draft (No. 4 overall).

My club coaches and this four-time U.S. Women’s National player scheduled a clinic for Sam to help teach my team to rebuild skills, our teamwork and confidence.  The first exercise of the clinic was a skills drill in which my team and I would practice shooting and passing directly with a partner.  The goal was to keep our foot in the correct position and avoid causing the ball to bounce across the ground or roll away past our teammate.  The next exercise was a passing and moving drill, where two of my teammates and I would pass, one of us playing as a defender, with the other two trying to pass until reaching the end of a long box of cones.  After going through this drill repetitively, we tested our new skills in a scrimmage.  We scored many times and went around the defenders instead of trying to go through them!

I admired Sam’s positive coaching style and her patience with my team and me.  If one of my teammates and I did something incorrectly, Sam would pause the drill to explain to everyone how the situation could be solved or avoided.  Sam encouraged me and my teammates to try hard and to never give up on any plays, which is exactly what our team needed to hear.  I find that my teammates use the moves and skills that Sam taught us when we play in games.  I am amazed that a professional soccer player would take time to help a small club team enhance their skills and it was a very special experience to have Sam Mewis train our team.