WOODBRIDGE — Owen Quigley has had his share of fine soccer players during his two-decade run as the Amity girls soccer coach.
He has a solid core group returning for this season. That includes one player who can dominate in the Southern Connecticut Conference for the foreseeable future.
It didn’t take long for Audrey Marin to be noticed. Once the freshman forward started to score goals, defenses started to pay attention.
“You can see by an early age she had the ability,” Quigley said. “Other coaches realized how good she was. She still has a lot of work to do to get better. She’s a pretty grounded kid. She doesn’t take things for granted.”
The 5-foot-7 Marin said she has known Quigley since he coached her travel team several years ago. Marin, a Woodbridge resident, finished her first season with eight goals and 10 assists.
“Some teams put both center backs on me. They would follow me around everywhere I went and would try to deny me access to the ball,” Marin said. “I’m pretty good at finding gaps when there are multiple people on me. In those situations, I distribute more rather than take it myself.”
Marin made enough of an impression in the league to win the SCC Player of the Year award — a rare occurrence for a freshman.
“I was very, very happy and also surprised, especially when there are so many other players,” said Marin, who was also selected to the Register’s All-Area team. “I felt lucky and honored.”
As good as she is with the ball, Quigley thinks “one of her greatest attributes is how she works off the ball extremely hard. She is very confident and very coachable. She listens and understands she is not a one-woman team.”
That speed Marin displays on the soccer field, she’s displayed it in another sport as well: Marin ran the anchor leg of Amity’s 4×100 relay team that won the SCC meet and the Class LL state meet, finished second to Windsor at the State Open and qualified for the New England championship meet.
Marin, 15, also finished fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at the SCC meet and seventh in the 200 in Class LL.
“I use it for preparation (for soccer) to work on my speed and form. I also like it a lot, especially being part of the relays,” Marin said.
Her track schedule, combined with her spring soccer schedule — Marin plays for the Connecticut Football Club — makes for a hectic schedule.
“I’d have to do some homework on the bus. I’d take advantage of study hall periods,” Marin said. “There’s also been some late nights. I’ve used my weekends to the best of my ability to get my work done ahead of time when I could.”
Then there are the showcases and the clinics Marin attends to “pout herself out there” as she puts it, and because of that, she said she has already received interest from Division I colleges.
That interest is sure to grow with continued success in both high school and premier. Marin hopes to help lead Amity further in both the SCC tournament (lost in the semifinals to Shelton) and the Class LL state tournament (lost in the second round to Newtown) than last season.
How successful the Spartans are this season will be, in part, how Marin deals with the defensive schemes opponents throw at her.
“The first chance teams get to see her (this season), they will adjust accordingly,” Quigley said. “Teams will be looking at stopping her. It definitely will be a challenge, but a challenge she will embrace. Audrey is not a selfish player. Sometimes, you get a kid with such ability who sometimes tends to hug the limelight. Audrey is about the win.”