Tom Capozzi had a tear in his eye as he watched the early stages of the Lynn City Soccer Tournament.
His daughters, Chandler, a senior captain, and Taylor, a freshman forward, were making their first appearance together for the St. Mary’s girls varsity soccer team.
“It’s fun to finally watch them play together and it will be an exciting season,” said Capozzi, a former football player at Swampscott High School. “I got a little emotional seeing them out there together. I think the team did very well and they’re going to be strong this year. Every game will be tough but I think they’re up for the challenge.”
The Capozzi sisters made it an extra special debut for the team and their father. Taylor, a forward, scored a goal in the Spartans’ tournament opener while Chandler, an outside midfielder, netted one in the Spartans’ 5-0 win over English in the championship game.
“We had played on indoor soccer teams together, so we’re familiar with each other on the field, but this was our first time playing on an official team,” said Chandler, who is beginning her fourth season in the program.
Chandler accepted the championship trophy after the game, joining captains Maggie Carey, Taylor Cash and Victoria Viger at the ceremony.
“It’s a great team to be a captain for,” said Chandler. “The girls really listen well and everyone is tight on the team.”
Chandler is happy to have her sister on board for her final season.
“It’s good to be competing with her on the same team and trying to helping St. Mary’s win,” said Chandler. “I hope to set a good example for Taylor and all my teammates.”
Asked about Taylor’s immediate contribution to the team with a goal in her inaugural game, Chandler said, “Pretty good; not too shabby, I’m impressed.”
Taylor said it was exciting to score a goal in her first game and she’s happy to have her sister as a teammate and a captain.
“I’ve learned a lot from her and she’s a good role model and a nice sister,” said 14-year-old Taylor, who came to St. Mary’s after attending Salem Academy, a charter school in Salem. “I wanted to come to St. Mary’s because my sister went here. St. Mary’s has a really good sports program.”
Chandler began developing her soccer talents for North Shore United at the age of 11. She has stepped up her game for the Vikings club team the past few seasons.
“Playing club soccer has definitely helped my game,” said Chandler, whose sister has also excelled in club soccer.
The 17-year-old St. Mary’s captain wants her final season to be a memorable one.
“Our goal is to make it all the way to the end,” said Chandler. “We had a disappointing loss in the North final last year and we want to get back there and go farther than we did last year.”
St. Mary’s coach Jim Foley said the Capozzis will be vital components to a team that is poised to make a run at Catholic Central League, North sectional, and state titles.
“It’s tremendous to have the Capozzi sisters playing in our program,” said Foley. “They love soccer and they bring a lot to the table with their speed and skill. You can count on them to score or make a good play and that’s what makes them so great. Chandler has been one of the best players since she’s been here and she started as a freshman. It’s a great addition to have Taylor, who has stepped in and not missed a beat. She’s one of the better freshman forwards in the area.”