Your 2023 Girl’s Varsity Soccer Team

A new era of AMHS girls’ soccer has commenced. Upon losing thirteen seniors last season (and our beloved Sadie to IMG Academy), our Raptors are beginning a period of change, rebirth, and youth. With the loss of four senior captains, the leadership dynamic has shifted. An entire backline needs to be replaced. You can expect plenty of new faces to be seen on the field. Last year can be characterized by a few key moments. Of course, we have the infamous 5-1 win against Bishop England. Beating Oceanside on their turf and winning the region also are pretty notable moments. Change is a good thing, and this season we welcome it with open arms.

Pollo Loco (Po)

12 Emma Morrison (1)

12 Maya Thompson (0)

12 Kristen McLeod (11)

12 Livia Carroll (22)

12 Avery Voelkel (20)

12 Lily Hutson (19)

12 Maile Merklein (25)

11 Charlie Zaifert (13)

11 Lilly Murphy (17)

11 Chloe Carlsten (2)

11 Eliza Compton (00)

11 Rachel Holden (24)

11 Addie Hanna (3)

11 Cliffie Manuel (23)

11 Abby Poole (21)

10 Mattie Vermette (9)

10 Hanna Ismail (10)

10 Sophia Benich (16)

10 Zoe Hutson (15)

10 Ridgeley Kalil (4)

9 Madeline Moye (6)

9 Hannah Collins (7)

9 Anna Cook (5)

Emma Morrison (12)

To begin with, the seven senior members of the team are both old and new, with lots of depth position-wise. We have our returners of, Avery Voelkel, Lily Hutson, and Livia Carroll, and our returning captains, Kristen McLeod, Maya Thompson, and myself (Emma Morrison). This year, as most know, SOA students were allowed to try out for AMHS sports, and to that, we welcome Maile Merklein, a senior from SOA. Avery Voelkel, a historic center-mid, plans to carry on the legacy of our past raptor soccer players. Lily Hutson, an extremely dynamic player, plans to break ankles (mainly her sister’s) on the wing (either left or right, of course). Livia Carroll is such a big cool girl and plans to shut it down in the back. From SOA, Maile plans to impress on her first “real” year of high school soccer (in her words, she does not count Stall). Kristen McLeod, though can sometimes be found in the central midfield, plans to continue her impression on the raptor backline as a center-back in strong communication with Maya Thompson and Emma Morrison in goal. Our two four-year veteran goalkeepers, Maya and Emma, plan to lock down in the back with strong leadership and flying saves. After Emma’s thumb injury last year, Maya had to step up and played very well in this role. Her momentum and energy continue into this season. On the other hand, it is Emma’s comeback season, and she plans to perform.

Charlie Zaifert (11) breaking ankles

The juniors hold the largest number of players on the 2023 squad. With three varsity returners and five newbies, the juniors hold a strong presence on the team. Charlie Zaifert is a veteran and three-year returner to the varsity team. Her role is crucial in the midfield, and she has a good habit of breaking D1 ankles. Abby Poole, another returner, is a dynamic defender, and whether she’s on the outside or in the middle can always be counted on. The last varsity returner, Lilly Murphy, plays center back and has no problem defending and having fun while doing it. Addie Hanna, a winger/striker, can be found running past you. Very fast. Chloe Carlsten has stepped up and proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the central midfield. Her strength on 1v1s is unmatched. Rachel Holden has also proved herself in the backline as a strong force that cannot be beaten. Eliza Compton, another goalkeeper, provides strict security in the back. Lastly, Cliffie Manuel, a reliable outside back, can always be counted on to shut it down.

Sophia Benich (10) in a hard-fought battle

The sophomores already have a presence on our team that has helped to build us back up from where we were left last year. We have 5 sophomores, 2 returners, and 3 newcomers. Mattie Vermette and Hanna Ismail are our veteran sophomores, Mattie as our powerhouse runner, and Hanna as our decisive bridge on the field. Mattie played left wing last year, but this year is planning to help out in the attacking mid position and as a striker. Hanna made her start as a defender last season and is looking to play on the right in the back line or as a winger. Our 3 new sophomores include Zoe Hutson, Ridgeley Kalil, and Sophia Benich. Zoe is working on playing outside or centering mid, and needless to say, she plans to “let the bodies hit the floor,” Ridgeley playing right back, and Sophia playing striker, these sophomores will undoubtedly help our team against our packed schedule this year.

Try to stop Madeline Moye (9)

Lastly, our brand new grade level of players is the freshman. This year we gained 3 beasts on the field, Hannah Collins, Anna Cook, and Madeline Moye. Hannah has already proved herself to be an extremely valuable player on our team, leading and pressing our strikers forward, the position where she will be playing herself. Anna has been owning it as a right back, and Madeline is already breaking ankles as a right winger or a defender of any kind.

With the abrupt turnaround from tryouts to practice, we quickly got to know our team with two scrimmages on Monday and Wednesday, as well as our Academic Magnet-hosted Charleston Soccer Shootout this past weekend from February 17-19. The schedule for the whole tournament was completely dependent on which team won which games, with the exception of the first game. The tournament schedule for us ended up being:

Feb. 17 5:30 pm v. Stratford @Ravenel

Feb. 18 1:00 pm v. West Ashley @ D4

Feb. 19 3:00 pm v. Pinewood @ D4

In summary, our Stratford game gave us the morale boost we needed at the beginning of the season. We won this game 9-1, with 3 goals from Mattie Vermette (Mattie with a Hattie), 2 goals from Madeline Moye, 2 goals from Addie Hanna, 1 from Charlie Zaifert, and 1 from Sophia Benich. West Ashley was the rematch no one was hoping to have so soon to our scrimmage with them, but it definitely was the redemption we needed after an unnecessary tie. The game was tight to the end, ending with a tie of 2-2 (thanks Mattie) before PKs. We then had our PK takers, Charlie, Kristen, Mattie, Rachel, (and Chloe), who, after two misses from West Ashley, we were brought to victory. Finally, we faced Pinewood Prep in the finals (unfortunate name). After a hard-fought battle against an extremely talented Pinewood team, we fell 4-2 (with goals from Kristen McLeod and Mattie Vermette).

3 Hit Wonder

— Kristen McLeod

In total, 5 games in 7 days is exhausting but we love every minute of it with our sweet amazing team (because they are so cute like are you kidding me. Love you guys.)


We thought it was important to mention our metal chicken, Pollo Loco, commonly known as Po. You might have heard of Po before. If you have not, he is our “mascot”, and good luck charm all in one. Check out some more information about him here

Upon a look at our schedule, it is evident that our coaches, Alister and Doug Delong, have a lot of faith and are excited to challenge our new team this season. Come out and support us…expecting big things against BE and OCA. Don’t forget to follow @amhsgsoccer on Instagram to keep up!!!!

Feb. 13 7:00 pm @JICHS (scrimmage)

Feb. 15 7:00 pm v. West Ashley @ D4 (scrimmage)

Mar. 2 7:00 pm v. Ashley Ridge @ D4

Mar. 4 11:00 am v. Lexington @Ravenel

Mar. 6 7:00 pm v. Lucy Beckham @Ravenel

Mar. 9 5:30 pm v. Oceanside @Ravenel

Mar. 14 7:00 pm v. Summerville @ D4

Mar. 16 7:00 pm @Stratford

Mar. 17 5:30 pm @River Bluff

Mar. 21 5:30 pm v. Bishop England @Ravenel

Mar. 23 6:00 pm @Pinewood

Mar. 28 5:30 pm @Oceanside

Mar. 31 7:00 pm @West Ashley

Apr. 3 7:00 pm @Berkeley

Apr. 5 7:00 pm @Fort Dorchester

Apr. 18 5:30 pm @Bishop England

Apr. 20 5:30 pm v. Bridges Prep @Ravenel (senior night)

Apr. 25 5:30 pm @Woodland

Apr. 27 5:30 pm @Porter-Gaud