Tori Bernardo, Alex Baltazar, Molly Socha win Girls' Soccer postseason awards
Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Soccer players Tori Bernardo, Alex Baltazar and Molly Socha have a lot in common: they’re all seniors, they played for the Titans for four seasons, they’re all from the same hometown, and they will all play soccer in college.
And, lastly, they all received multiple awards following the team’s memorable 2014 season.
Tori, Alex and Molly were all honored at the Academy’s Fall Varsity Sports Awards Ceremony Nov. 11, with Tori and Alex sharing the team’s MVP Award, and Molly earning the Coaches Award. They were also all selected to the All-League First Team.
WMA (14-3-2) won the Women’s Western New England Prep School Soccer Association Class B title during the regular season. In the New England playoffs, the Titans beat Lawrence Academy and Governor’s Academy before falling to the Groton School in the Class B final.
Tori, the quick and hardworking vocal leader of the team, shared the MVP honor for the second season in a row.
“It means a lot what the girls and the coaches think of me,” said Tori, a center back. “It’s nice to know all the effort I put into the game is recognized and the girls feel I’m such a crucial part to the team. What’s so great about this team is they recognize there isn’t just one Most Valuable Player, and I don’t think anyone is more deserving to get the MVP Award than Alex Baltazar.”
“As our co-MVP and as one of our co-captains, Tori clearly demonstrated her value to our team this fall,” Coach Don Nicholson ’79 said. “Her commitment, work ethic, athleticism and ability to inspire her teammates were evident each and every day in practices and games. Tori was the leader of a defense, which recorded six shutouts and was a critical part of our success in winning our division and getting to the New England finals.”
Alex enjoyed another great season on the front line for WMA, proving to be one of the most dangerous players in New England with 21 goals and 14 assists in 19 games.
“This is one of the best seasons we’ve had since I’ve been at WMA,” said Alex, who has verbally committed to Connecticut College. “We came together as a family, did some good stuff, and made it far. I was proud of all the girls.”
“Alex certainly experienced a great senior season, as she was named co-MVP,” Coach Nicholson said. “She quickly established herself as one of the top goal scorers in our league. Throughout the fall, Alex was the spearhead of our offensive efforts and played a huge role in keeping opposing defenses off balance with her high intensity and physical style of play.”
Molly was an exceptional co-captain, taking charge when necessary and always leading by example on and off the field. The blue-collar center midfielder has verbally committed to the University of Hartford.
“Winning the Coaches Award means a lot, especially because the team voted,” Molly said. “It means a lot to me that the team sees me in that type of way – as someone worthy of a Coaches Award.”
“As one of our co-captains and as the winner of the Coaches Award, Molly combined all the elements of being an impact player and a team leader this fall,” Coach Nicholson said. “Her hardworking attitude and style of play was a critical part of our overall team success throughout the fall. As one of our central midfielders, Molly showed a very strong capability to help us both offensively and defensively. Molly combined all of this with being an inspiring leader to her teammates, especially our underclassmen.”