Classical Girls Soccer Team Celebrates GBL Championship Season at Banquet

It was a most interesting and challenging season for the Lynn Classical High School girls soccer team, but it all ended memorably with the Lady Rams claiming their first-ever Greater Boston League championship.

After having its season pushed back to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic that also led to the school moving from the Northeastern Conference to the GBL, the Classical team traveled to Revere and came away with a 1-0 victory to take the title.  Freshman Lauren Wilson scored the game-winning goal while two-time All-Star goalkeeper Anna Flaherty earned her seventh shutout of the season.

GBL CHAMPIONS: The Lynn Classical High School girls soccer team, Greater Boston League champion, is pictured at the awards banquet Tuesday.

Tuesday night at a beautifully run banquet at Old Tyme Italian Cuisine, Head Coach Mike Schena, Assistant Coach Shannon Magner, and the players, parents and guests celebrated a season unlike any other in the history of Classical sports.

Mike Schena, who was a sensational soccer player himself at Medford High School and competed in semi-professional soccer, said the championship season and the heart and resiliency that the players demonstrated throughout the year was truly amazing.

“This year was a strange one,” Schena told the gathering at the banquet. “The unknown about even having a season – that was so hard for these girls to stay focused – and they did. The girls did the right thing and I’m so proud of them for doing that. I knew coming into this season, this was just special. They all said to me, ‘Coach, we’re going to win this year,’ and I felt like they all weren’t just saying it and they did win it. Everybody in this room knew their role. They all trusted each other on the field and off the field and that’s when everything just started to click. They wanted to win the GBL Cup. I said, ‘you girls deserve it,” and they did it.”

Magner, a former four-year Classical varsity soccer player whom Schena called “a great assistant varsity coach,” said, “I’m honored and proud to have been a part of this championship team. The girls worked so hard all throughout the adversity that was thrown at them, and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of it and to coach a great group of girls.”

The Classical seniors reflect

on their soccer careers

In one of the highlights of the banquet, the four seniors – Jessica Page, Mary Collins, Hannah Guthrie, and Kitty Mannion – talked about their careers and reflected on their truly memorable final season in the program.

Page, who will be continuing her soccer career at Western New England University in Springfield, recalled her long journey that began in the Lynn Youth Soccer Program.

“I’ve been playing soccer since the age of five and it’s always been a huge part of my life,” said Page. “I’ve met some of my best friends and made some of my best memories through soccer. Looking back at my past 13 years of soccer, I never could have imagined how far I’ve come. If anyone were to tell me that I was going to play soccer in college, I probably would have laughed at them.

“A big part of this growth is due to all the girls here today, the parents, and especially Coach [Mike Schena] and [Coach] Shannon Magner when they came in my junior year. When I came in as a freshman, I was still welcomed and had many friends, but now it feels more like a family. I’m also so thankful for the great coaches we have now and the endless support from all of our parents. I also want to say how proud and how good it feels that we won our very first GBL championship. After this crazy year and thinking I wasn’t going to get to have my senior season, winning the championship was definitely a great way to end my high school career.

“We all proved this year that we can still come out on top even though it feels likes a hundred different obstacles are being thrown at us,” continued Page. “I’m so grateful that I was able to lead the team as a captain and be someone who you guys look up to. Cherish these four years or how many years you have left, because I can now confirm that it really does goes by fast. Thanks to everyone for a great, memorable senior year. I love all of you so much. And a special shout-out to my mom and dad for putting me in Lynn Youth Soccer when I was little kid and, of course, for being my No. 1 supporters through it all. Thanks for introducing me to the support that I love.”

“We can all agree that this season was like no other,” said Guthrie. “If I can give any kind of advice, I would tell you girls what my dad said to me, ‘Play hard like it’s your last game – no regrets. Thanks Coach Mike and Coach Shannon for the last few years of all your coaching and making an impact and helping us become GBL champs.”

 “I just want to say obviously this season was crazy but I wanted to thank Coach Mike and Coach Shannon and the girls for making it the best,” said Collins. “With each obstacle we faced, the team was able to push forward and I believe we became stronger because of it. This strength was shown during our season and through our last game when we became GBL champs. I have been so lucky to play soccer with most of these girls my whole life starting at Lynn Youth when were a true powerhouse, the districts, and on to high school. Each and everyone you guys hold a special place in my heart. And to Shannon and Coach [Mike], I can’t even express how much you mean to me, for always looking out for what was best for us. These last four years as part of the Classical team have been interesting to say the least, but I’m so happy that I was able to end it with the best group of girls I could ask for, and the ultimate outcome of being GBL champions.”

Mannion, who jested that the speaking order had “saved the best for last,” said, “Looking back at not only these past four years of high school soccer but my entire soccer career, soccer has really presented me with my best and favorite memories and friendships. I met most of you through Lynn Youth Soccer and Lynn Classical soccer. I’ve known you guys for a very long time. It’s a sad good-bye but it’s like bittersweet because we get to leave on a good note.”

And that “good note” was a championship season like no other.

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