Having a variety of starting lineups for a high school soccer team is certainly not uncommon. Injuries always play a factor and coaches need to make adjustments depending upon the opponent.
But to change a lineup every single game during a given season, even during a winning streak? Yes, that has been the case for the Hamden Hall girls soccer team.
Thirteen games, 13 lineup changes for the Hornets (9-4), who are currently riding a eight-game winning streak as the postseason approaches.
“We as a staff had to find out where each player fit best for the team,” Hamden Hall coach Christine Huber said. “There are a number of players not playing their natural position, but it is where we need them to be.”
All four senior captains are among those who have had to change positions. Doria Weiss is the leader with 13 goals – thanks to the move for her to help the Hornets’ offense.
“She has been the MVP of our season in my book,” Huber said of Weiss. “She started out as our sweeper, moved her to forward and now she is dominating the center-midfield position.”
Maya Harlan is normally a forward but is now manning the sweeper position. Olivia D’Anna started the year on defense and now she playing one of the forward positions. She has eight goals and 11 assists.
Bianca Tomassini teams with D’Anna up top, forming a deadly combination. Tomassini has seven goals and six assists.
“Four years ago, Bianca started as the backup goalkeeper,” Huber said. “We needed some energy up top. She puts other teams under pressure. She is able to pick off passes and is able to finish.”
Other key members of the defense include a pair of underclassmen, stopper Sofia Sabatelli, a sophomore, and freshman goalkeeper Miranda Iannone.
The winning streak has included victories against area prep school rivals Hopkins and Cheshire Academy. And Hamden Hall has accomplished the streak despite having just 19 kids in the entire program, the lowest in Huber’s four years as head coach.
“It’s always hard to go up against Class A schools with 60-70 kids in the program,” Huber said.
Hamden Hall, a Class D school, will begin postseason play in the Fairchester League tournament on Nov. 3.