I'm not sure you had a chance during the holiday rush to see the article published in The Day on December 23rd... recognizing our own Emily DeRoehn as the All-Area Girls' Soccer Player of the year.
See article, photos and video below!
Published December 23. 2020 5:06PM | Updated December 23. 2020 5:31PM
By Gavin Keefe Day staff writer
Emily DeRoehn prefers to keep busy. She believes she’s more productive that way.
So her daily schedule is usually quite full.
DeRoehn competes in a sport during every season — soccer in the fall, basketball in winter and outdoor track in spring.
She’s involved in several activities at Old Lyme High School, serving as editor of the yearbook and on the CIAC’s student athletic advisory board.
She also recently started working with athletic director Hildie Heck to help Wildcat teams get involved with community service projects.
When DeRoehn has free time, she’ll go outside and juggle a soccer ball, something she tries to do 30 minutes every day.
“I think I function better when I’m busy,” DeRoehn said.
Her impressive accomplishments back that up.
DeRoehn excels academically and athletically, belonging to the National Honor Society and earning all-state status in girls' soccer for the second straight season this fall. She also was named the Shoreline Conference Player of the Year in the sport.
A senior defender, DeRoehn is The Day’s 2020 All-Area Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year.
“I’ve enjoyed Emily quite a bit,” Old Lyme coach Paul Gleason said. “Emily had a great career with us. I’m going to miss her dearly. She’s quite a soccer player, quite a young woman and quite a leader. I can go on and on about her. She’s really top of the line in my estimation.
“This is a young lady that’s going to have quite a bit of success for herself in life because she’s really driven and a hard worker.”
A four-year varsity player, DeRoehn anchored a stingy defense that helped the Wildcats go undefeated until reaching the Shoreline Conference tournament championship game where they lost to Haddam-Killingworth 3-2. They finished 10-1-1.
While it was a difficult defeat, DeRoehn and her teammates walked off the field that day happy with what they had accomplished under challenging circumstances. They pushed aside any disappointment over being unable to compete in the state tournament, which was cancelled for COVID-19 reasons.
“We made the most of what we had and we had a lot of fun,” DeRoehn said.
DeRoehn is the latest in a long line of Old Lyme girls’ soccer standouts.
She did it all on the field.
On defense, she used her speed, physical strength and soccer smarts to extinguish an opposing team’s attack. She also ignited her team’s offense with her booming and deadly accurate free kicks.
But it was her work ethic, effort and leadership that elevated her to an elite level. She never stopped working on improving her game.
“We practiced and practiced and practiced a lot with her,” Gleason said. “Through her own will, she came through and did all that on her own. You have all the best intentions when you try to teach a kid something. But it’s up to them to take it and use it.
“And Emily always did that. She even developed moves on her own, which were pretty cool. … Overall, she really is one of the best players I’ve seen in a few years as a defender.”
A team captain for the last two years, DeRoehn’s leadership skills were put to the test this pandemic season. She had the added duty of encouraging her teammates to make good decisions off the field as well as on.
The Wildcats had a healthy season.
“Emily’s leadership in that direction was exemplary this year,” Gleason said.
Gleason added that DeRoehn was highly respected by her teammates and underclassmen looked at her with a “certain amount of awe.”
“You could see them trying to copy some of the stuff that she did without her saying anything,” Gleason said. “You could see the effect that she had on the younger players and it was all positive.
“It’s a real luxury for a coach to have someone that has that level of inspiration to the younger players, that they would want to go out and play like that.”
DeRoehn did her best to set a good example and help out her teammates.
“I took it upon myself to be the one to go to in case anybody had any questions or anything, which I think I was very successful with,” DeRoehn said. “I like to work after practice or before practice with people if they want help.”
Growing up, DeRoehn had a good role model to follow in her older sister, Britney.
Britney helped bring out the best in Emily. They played high school soccer together for two seasons, winning two state championships.
“She’s very competitive and I’m pretty competitive, too,” DeRoehn said. “So having her there to push me and me wanting to prove myself to her helped me grow as a player a lot.”
Next fall, DeRoehn hopes to be playing soccer in college. She’s yet to decide on a destination.
She’d like to find an environment similar to the positive one at Old Lyme.
“I mostly want to go to a smaller school because Old Lyme has shown me I can be successful in a smaller environment where I can have closer relationships with teachers,” DeRoehn said. “But I also think soccer is going to be an impact on my decision.”
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