Boston High School: Samantha Mewis

W-H's Mewis is Gatorade Player of the Year

February, 10, 2011
2/10/11
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The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Sam Mewis of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year. This is the second straight honor for Mewis, who is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Whitman-Hanson.

The 5-foot-11 senior midfielder recorded 28 goals and eight assists this past season, leading the Panthers (17-1-1) to the Division I South Sectional Tournament. Also the 2009-10 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Mewis was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s National Team that participated in the Under-20 World Cup last summer in Germany. The 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Player of the Year, Mewis concluded her high school soccer career with 77 goals and 34 assists.

Mewis has maintained a 3.89 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a youth soccer instructor, served in her school’s student government and assisted in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

“Sam Mewis has really matured as a player over the last year,” said Keith Caldwell, Mewis’ club coach with Scorpions Soccer Club. “The time she has spent with the older national teams has made her a better player. It has exposed her to the highest level of women’s soccer in the world at the youth level, and she’s kept raising her game and raising her game.”

Mewis has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at UCLA this fall.

Two-time winner Mewis joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Players of the Year Danielle Dakin (2008-09, Minnechaug Regional High School), and Hayley Brock (2007-08, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Here are the releases for the other five New England states honoring Gatorade Players of the Year this morning:

CONNECTICUT: RILEY HOULE, WINDHAM

The 5-foot-2 senior midfielder recorded 18 goals and seven assists this past season, leading the Whippets (11-7) to the second round of the Class M state tournament. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team Player Pool, Houle was a 2010 ESPN RISE Second Team All-American selection and a 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Youth All-American selection. Houle concluded her prep soccer career with 79 goals and 38 assists.

Houle has maintained a 3.70 GPA in the classroom. A volunteer youth soccer instructor, she has also created a fundraiser, JB24 Believe, to support a friend and teammate afflicted with leukemia, and she has donated her time locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit breast cancer research and an area homeless shelter.

“Riley Houle is the complete package in terms of a soccer player,” said Rick Derella, Houle’s club coach with Oakwood Soccer Club. “She’s a very skillful and instinctive player. She’s not a manufactured player. She can beat people on the run, she can shoot, she can pass. She can do it all.”

Houle has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Connecticut this fall and recently graduated Windham High early to begin attending spring semester collegiate classes.

Houle joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Players of the Year Kate McCarthy (2009-10, The Loomis Chaffee School), Jessica Schloth (2008-09, St. Joseph High School), and Alex Uscilla (2007-08, St. Joseph High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

RHODE ISLAND: MCKENZIE MEEHAN, LA SALLE ACADEMY

The 5-foot-5 junior forward led the Rams to a 19-0-2 record and their third straight Division I state title this past season. Meehan scored 49 goals and passed for 10 assists, including the game-winning strike with two minutes to play in La Salle’s 1-0 win over East Greenwich in the state title game. A 2010 All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Meehan is a two-time Providence Journal First Team All-State pick and a U.S. Youth Soccer 1994 Region I Olympic Development Program team member. Through her junior year, Meehan has recorded 101 goals and 28 assists in her prep soccer career.

Meehan has maintained an A average in the classroom. A member of La Salle’s Pegasus Gifted Student Program, she has volunteered locally as a peer Spanish tutor, youth soccer coach and at an area homeless shelter.

“I think McKenzie Meehan is at a different level than any other player,” said Drea Harms, head coach of rival Bay View Academy. “She’s way beyond anyone else. She finds ways to score that I’m astounded by. I just see McKenzie as someone who looks like she’s always had a ball at her feet. She’s just very impressive to me.”

Meehan has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at Boston College beginning in the fall of 2012.

Meehan joins recent Gatorade Rhode Island Girls Soccer Players of the Year two-time winner Allison Kelley (2009-10 & 2008-09, La Salle Academy), and Katie Reilly (2007-08, St. Mary Academy-Bay View) among the state’s list of former award winners.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: MORGAN ANDREWS, MILFORD

The 5-foot-9 sophomore forward recorded 28 goals and 13 assists this past season, leading the Spartans (10-7) to the Division II state tournament. A former captain of the U.S. Soccer Under-15 Girls National Team, Andrews is a member of the Under-17 Women’s National Team. A 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Youth All-American, Andrews was the leading scorer in Division II this past season. Through her sophomore year, Andrews has scored 52 goals and passed for 29 assists in her prep soccer career.

Andrews has maintained a B average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a community-outreach program, and she launched her own charity program that allowed coaches and players to donate their time and field-use privileges in exchange for canned goods that were brought to area food banks.

“Morgan Andrews, she’s just an unbelievable player,” said Jason Dewhurst, Andrews’ club coach with the Stars of Massachusetts. “She’s a perfectionist, always has been. Andrews is the type of player you build a team around, she’s that good. She is just a talent like I’ve never coached before. She’s just a different breed.”

Andrews has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at Boston College beginning in the fall of 2013.

Andrews joins recent Gatorade New Hampshire Girls Soccer Players of the Year two-time winner Kailey Blain (2009-10 & 2008-09, Merrimack), and Kristy Zurmuhlen (2007-08, Fall Mountain Regional High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

MAINE: ALLISON WALTON, BRUNSWICK

The 5-foot-6 senior forward recorded 31 goals and 14 assists this past season, leading the Dragons (17-1) to the Class A state semifinals. Also the 2009-10 Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Walton was a 2010 All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and a three-time Class A First Team honoree. A natural defender, Walton was the 2010 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She concluded her prep soccer career with 84 goals and 40 assists.

Walton has maintained an A average in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, Walton co-produced a documentary about her experience of being homeless for three days to bring attention to the plight of area homeless. She has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and as a youth soccer coach and referee.

“I think she’s one of the best center backs in the whole region,” said Keith Caldwell, Walton’s club coach with the Scorpions Soccer Club in Massachusetts. “She can play anywhere. She gets better and better with every game and every practice. She’s as good as anyone in the Northeast right now.”

Walton has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Providence College this fall.

Two-time winner Walton joins recent Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Players of the Year Elise Amioka (2008-09, Marshwood High School), and Rachele Burns (2007-08, Gorham High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

VERMONT: LAUREN BERNARD, COLCHESTER

The 5-foot-3 junior recorded 18 goals and 11 assists this past season, leading the Lakers (10-5-3) to the Div. I state final. Bernard was an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and earned First Team All-State honors from the Burlington Free Press following each of the last two seasons. She is a former member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Under-15 Women’s National Team, and a current member of the Under-17 National Team Player Pool.

Bernard has maintained a 3.99 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally with youth soccer programs and camps.

“She’s one of the most determined and committed soccer players I’ve seen in a number of years,” said Tom Schaefer, head coach of rival South Burlington High. “She has amazing pace, she’s very quick and she’s very smart. She also has a tremendous, tremendous left foot.”

Bernard has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at Boston College and will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

Bernard joins recent Gatorade Vermont Girls Soccer Players of the Year Brittany Pfaff (2009-10, Rice Memorial), and two-time winner Natalie LeClair (2009-10 & 2007-08, Essex High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

McCaffrey, Mewis are ESPN RISE All-Americans

January, 31, 2011
1/31/11
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Buckingham, Browne & Nichols' Stephanie McCaffrey and Whitman-Hanson's Samantha Mewis have both been named this week to ESPN RISE's first team fall All-America squad.

Mewis, a UCLA-bound forward, earned her second straight first team All-American squad after a stellar senior season for the Panthers. She scored 30 goals, giving her 78 for her career, and also added eight assists this season. She won the state's Gatorade Player of the Year award following her junior season in 2009.

McCaffrey, a Boston College-bound forward, was named all-state and all-New England this season, after scoring an ISL record 37 goals and six assists. The Knights went undefeated this season, en route to the ISL title.

Both Mewis and McCaffrey are finalists for the Massachusetts girls soccer Gatorade Player of the Year award, to be named next week.

Two Massachusetts natives were also named to ESPN RISE's third team as forwards. Norwood senior Cory Ryan, a Maryland commit, is a two-time Bay State Conference MVP who tallied 22 goals this season for the Mustangs. She finished her career with 76 goals and 25 assists. Dowd, who committed to Boston College two days before this past Christmas, has so far tallied 80 goals and 24 assists in just 41 high school games.

Breaking down the MIAA soccer tournaments

November, 5, 2010
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The seedings for the Boys and Girls 2010 MIAA Soccer Tournament were announced on Thursday afternoon, and with teams getting seeded base solely on their winning percentage, this tournament set up to be one of the most exciting in high school sports.

BOYS' BRACKETS:
D-I North
In 2009, Lexington came in as a No. 2 seed and Lincoln-Sudbury as a No. 5 seed, when they met in the North Sectional finals with Lexington winning 2-1 on penalty kicks.

In 2010, the Minutemen and the Warriors find themselves again ranked second and fifth, and both teams have the ability to win this section. Lexington finished No.1 on ESPNBoston’s final boys' poll and they score as a team with six players having scored four or more goals this season. Jordan Vanderhooft leads that group with eight markers.

Lincoln-Sudbury finished the season 13-2-1(No. 10 on ESPNBoston) and they have Cole DeNormandie up top who can change a game on his own.

Boston City League Champs Madison Park (No. 15 on ESPNBoston) grabbed the top seed in this section with a 14-0-1 regular season record and could pay ninth-seeded Greater Boston League Champs Medford (No. 20 on ESPNBoston) in one of this section’s quarterfinals.

D-I South
New Bedford (No. 3 on ESPNBoston) and Greater New Bedford are the top two seeds in this section, and for the record the New Bedford won the regular season local derby 3-0. The Big Three Conference flexes it’s muscles with Brockton (No. 4 on ESPNBoston) getting the third seed. But the Bay State Conference put three teams in the top 10 seeding in this section with Walpole at No. 5 (No. 13 on ESPNBoston), Weymouth at No. 6 (No. 11 on ESPNBoston) and Wellesley at No. 10.

The most interesting, potential quarterfinal would be if Brockton met Weymouth. The Boxers have scored three or more goals in nine of their 18 games, while the Wildcats have kept 12 clean sheets though 20 matches. Their first choice keeper Scott Greenwood is just a sophomore. Two other sophomores’ in this section to keep an eye on are Needham’s Mac Steeves, who scored 15 goals to improve on the eight he scored as a freshman, and Attleboro’s Dominik Machado, who is a member of the Revolution U-16 Academy.

D-I Central

The Algonquin Tomahawks (No. 7 on ESPNBoston) have been the class of Central Mass all season long and got the No. 1 seed. But No. 2 seed Leominster handed Algonquin one of their two losses on October 26, in a 1-0 game. The only way they could meet in the post season would be in the Central Final.

D-I West
Ludlow (No. 8 on ESPNBoston) has won three Western Sectional Finals in a row and come in as the top seed, but Amherst, the No. 2 seed, may have a say in who represents the West this year. Amherst finished above the Lions in the Smith Division this year even though Ludlow defeated and drew with the Hurricanes in their two regular season meetings. Chris Pereira has 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists.) through 18 games for Ludlow and is the marquee man in this section.

D-II North

The defending champs, Concord-Carlisle (No. 3 on ESPNBoston) come in as a No. 2 seed this year and appear in the tournament for the 26th season in a row. Senior tri-captain Cam McGrory is perhaps the most complete goalkeeper in the state and Ray Pavlik’s team will be well-tested having dropped only three points all season in the Dual County League, which is arguably the toughest in Massachusetts.

But the No. 1 seed in the section goes to the undefeated Winchester Sachems (No.6 on ESPNBoston), who won the Middlesex and have only two draws all season, both to Lexington. Their defense is full of confidence having allowed just one goal in their last six matches. And up top Ryan Connolly and Ben Davis have 27 goals between them.

D-II South
This section features two undefeated teams, No. 1 seed Sandwich (No. 5 on ESPNBoston) and No. 2 seed Canton (No. 9 on ESPNBoston) and they both seem to have an easy road to the finals, but looks can be deceiving.

Sandwich had only two draws all year, and learned an important lesson after squandering a four-goal lead to Marshfield in mid October. The Blue Knights didn’t allow a goal in five of their next seven matches. The Canton Bulldogs finished the season undefeated for the only time in the programs 28 years.

No. 4 seed Bishop Feehan has won nine of it’s last 10 and could potentially play Tri-Valley Champions Medfield (No. 19 on ESPNBoston) in the quarterfinals. The Warriors have a goal difference of plus-30 entering the tournament.

D-III Overview
There could very well be a re-match of the 2009 State Semi-Finals.

In D-III North, keep an eye on Weston, who is just the 11th seed at 7-6-3, but they will be ready for to make another run to the state finals after a tough regular season in the Dual County League, where they registered a 1-0 over Lincoln-Sudbury.

In D-III South, Cardinal Spellman finished the season 18-2 and it will take a major upset to stop them from getting to the state level.

GIRLS' BRACKETS:
D-I North
This bracket is unpredictable to say the least, which make the most exciting.

Top-seeded Peabody (No. 3 on ESPNBoston) handed fifth seeded Acton-Boxborough (No. 5 on ESPNBoston) their first regular season loss since 2006 on opening day. A-B ended up losing two games in 2010 -- their only other loss coming to No. 22 seed Lincoln-Sudbury. The two teams could have a rematch if they each reach the semifinals. Colonials goaltender Jessie Wiggins only allowed four goals in 17 games, but the Tanners strike force of Hayley Dowd and Victoria Digiacomo is a tough one-two punch.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 seed Masconomet (No. 13 on ESPNBoston) lost just once all year -- to No. 21 seed Andover. They have a scoring trio of Gabby Russo, Hannah Nekoroski, and Amy Griffiths making it tough to focus on just one player. No. 3 seed Central Catholic hasn’t been scored upon in their last seven matches, a nice run to be on heading into the tournament.

D-I South
Whitman-Hanson (No. 1 on ESPNBoston) finished the season undefeated and UCLA-bound Samantha Mewis is the most talented player in the state and also member of the USA Women’s U-20 team. It will be tough for any team in D-1 South to stop the Panthers.

Bishop Feehan lost only one game all season, and it was to an out-of-state opponent. The Shamrocks will most likely play the winner of No. 7 seed Needham (No. 16 on ESPNBoston) versus No. 10 seed Brockton (No. 10 on ESPNBoston), which will be the most interesting matchup of the first round. The Rockets have the second lowest goals against average in Division I at 0.5 and only Whitman-Hanson And Acton-Boxborough are better. Goalkeeper Victoria Tarabelli and senior defender Courtney Steeves will have their work cut out for them against the Boxers forward Morgan Branco.

D-I Central & West
These regions are also wide open. Nashoba and Wachusett look destined to meet each other in one semifinal, while Algonquin and Shrewsbury look ready for the other semi. It will be interesting to see if the Tomahawks can get out of the Central and defend their state title.

In the West, it’s Minnechaug’s title to lose. Lauren MacLellan is a tough forward to contain.

D-II North
Look for Belmont’s playermaker Katie O’Brien to set up Lauren Thurber as the top-seeded Marauders look ready to make a deep tournament run. Danvers is the No. 2 seed and had impressive regular season wins over Peabody and Central Catholic. But they also lost to No. 4 seed Bishop Fenwick, so the D-II North title is there for the taking.

D-II South
East Bridgewater is the top seed with a 16-2-0 regular season record. But don’t overlook No. 5 seed Cardinal Spellman, the defending D-II champions will no doubt be out to defend their title.

D-III Overview
Shawsheen (No. 20 on ESPNBoston) earned the top seed in D-III North and Nantucket earning the top seed in the South with a perfect 18-0-0 record. Bromfield earned the top seed in the Central and Gateway earned the top seed out West. And with defending D-3 Champion Millis not qualifying for the tournament this year, there will be a new D-III state champion crowned.

Mewis: The bite behind No. 1 W-H

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
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WHITMAN, Mass. – If you’re rolling down the Interstate and pass a school bus with Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” blaring out the windows, it’s probably Samantha Mewis and her Whitman-Hanson soccer teammates jamming on the way back from another victory.

The No. 1-ranked Panthers have yet to hit a hiccup along the way — outside of Saturday’s 1-1 tie against Weymouth — and remain unbeaten. Expectations are high, particularly with W-H coming off last year’s Division I South title season. However, the Panthers fell short of their goal in 2009, dropping a double-overtime heartbreaker to Acton-Boxborough in the state semifinals.

For Mewis, the state’s most decorated player, there remains just one goal she has yet to reach in her high school career — a state championship.

“We’re a different team from last year,” said Mewis, who has tallied 20 goals through 13 matches. “We were such a close team at the end of last year, but that forms over time, all those bus rides to road games.”

That’s where the music mix comes in.

The playlist may change, but one thing does not and that is Mewis’ ability to take over a match.

“She’s played the game at about as high a level as you can at this age,” Panthers head coach David Floeck said of Mewis. “But I think her greatest attribute is how much better she makes everybody around her. And that’s the mark of a great player — the ability to raise the level of play of everybody around you — and she certainly has done that.

“She calms everybody down. She’s been through those types of games before. That’s certainly a good thing for us.”

Mewis was named Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year last year as a junior, after a seeing little action as a sophomore. That’s because the Hanson native was away for most of the season with U.S. Women’s National team commitments. And she’s logged plenty of caps and passport stamps with its various programs.

Her first brush with the big time came in 2006, when she was invited to the U-14 Girls’ I.D. camp. That parlayed into time with the U-15 squad and so on. In 2008, she was one of three players born in 1992 to make the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup roster. Besides having the opportunity to play the world’s best in New Zealand, Mewis joined her older sister, Kristie, in becoming the first sister duo suit up for the Yanks at a Women’s World Cup.

“So many girls would get homesick on the trip,” Samantha said, “but there was always a piece of home there with me.”

Most recently, Mewis joined the U-20 National team, which captured the CONCACAF Women’s Championships in Guatemala, earning the U.S. a berth in the 2010 U-20 World Cup in Germany.

During the last four years or so, she’s traveled to Brazil, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago, among others. From those trips, she’s taken with her a carousel of memories: Children playing soccer with no shoes on in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, or the sightseeing trip to the “glowworm” caves of New Zealand, where the bioluminescent Arachnocampa’s put on a natural laser light display.

Her National team experience also yielded a relationship with U-20 head coach Jill Ellis, who will continue as Mewis’ coach when she arrives at UCLA next fall.

Mewis considered Florida State and Virginia before giving her verbal commitment to the Bruins, but she knew it was a natural fit from the start.

“I loved the people and the campus. I didn’t want to go to a school and a team that plays kick and run. I wanted to play with a more possession-oriented team because I think that’s more my style. It’s a good fit.”

Kristie, who already has compiled 25 points through 14 matches in her sophomore season at Boston College, thinks Samantha’s game will translate well to the next level.

“We do play a little different in styles,” the elder Mewis said. “I’ve always been more attack-oriented, but she’s a good ball-winner and plays well on the possession side. I think she could make a really good defensive center mid in college.”

Her sister is among the key elements to which Samantha credits to her development as a young player. There was her father Bob’s tutelage in her town league games as a child and the guiding hands of Fred Marks with the Scorpions Soccer Club and Floeck at W-H.

Of course, her time with the National development teams has only pushed her harder. And Kristie’s always been there along the way.

“We’re really competitive,” Samantha said. “She’s definitely hard on me. We fight some, but I’ve learned that she’s only tougher on me because she wants me to be better. She’s taught me never to take it for granted that you have the opportunity to play soccer.

“From getting the chance to play internationally, my development has obviously improved a lot. But playing at home has helped me get to the National team. That’s been just as important playing international.”

Mewis’ contributions to the Panthers go without question, but it is what she brings to the game intellectually that her coach will miss most.

“A lot of the times, she’s like having another coach out on the field,” Floeck said. “That’s valuable.”

Meanwhile, Mewis said those long bus rides to road matches, with the bass thumping and laughter all the way, those will be the things she misses most.

Is she embarrassed by their song selection? Hardly anybody will remember how to do the Dougie beyond 2011, right?

“No, not at all. That’s our jam. You can print that.”

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