Several St. Joseph’s Academy soccer players spent the summer competing on club teams and traveling to camps on college campuses. Madeleine Davis, Ellis Hosch, Isabella LaLonde and Mary Melancon honed their skills and grew as competitors playing alongside college athletes. They are looking forward to bringing what they learned to the SJA soccer program.
Davis played for BRSC United and Louisiana Football Club. These teams afforded her the opportunity to play and train in a highly competitive environment. “Alongside many collegiate players and even some professional athletes, I worked to develop myself both on and off the field in hopes of following in their footsteps and playing at the next level,” Davis said. “I have formed so many new unbreakable bonds with these women, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to play with and learn from such amazing athletes. Under the wings of many older, more experienced women, I have learned a lot about the game and the importance of a team’s dynamic. I hope to implement this knowledge in the coming year as a senior in hopes of both bettering the program and working towards a state title.”
Hosch also played for the Louisiana Football Club in the United Women’s Soccer League while training with the SJA soccer team. “I wanted to get better in any way I could, even if that meant more than one practice a day,” she said. “On the LaFC team, we trained at least five days a week in addition to games. Practicing with and playing against players with more experience is invaluable to any player wanting to improve. Not only did I train basically every day, but at any break, I went to college camps. At these camps, I was competing in front of coaches and playing against the best of the best. Everyone who was there all had one goal in common: playing soccer at the highest level in college. My training from the summer have definitely increased my technical game as well as my speed of play, both of which will benefit SJA this season. I believe that this year will be the year that SJA wins state.”
Melancon also played for BRSC United and scored a goal in the season’s finale. “It was a great experience to get to play with players at the collegiate level and watch their styles of play,” she said.
Lalonde played with Slidell Youth Soccer Club at the U.S. regional soccer championship. Her team advanced to the quarterfinal round. She then played for BRSC United, which won the championship at the end of the season. She also trained with the SJA soccer team. “On Monday and Wednesday, we went to the gym and lifted weights that were specialized for soccer players,” she said. “On Tuesday, we scrimmaged each other and practiced formations out for the season. I worked very hard this season because I am ready to win state this year. I want to accomplish something that has not been accomplished yet in the history of SJA soccer.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos courtesy of Madeleine Davis, Ellis Hosch, Isabella LaLonde and Mary Melancon