On November 4th, Junior captain Isabella Pilato was recognized by the Southern Connecticut Conference and received All-SCC first team for EHHS girls soccer. Isabella's contributions to the team, with 8 goals and assists, helped them finish 7-6-3, 2nd in their division (Southern Connecticut - Hammonasset), and qualify once again for the state tournament!
Isabella has been a starting player for the EHHS girls varsity soccer team since her freshman year in the position of center-midfielder - the center midfielder is every team's main passer of the ball. A key quality of the center-midfielder position is awareness. They have to know where they and their teammates are located to pass quickly and accurately and create better chances to score a goal! Jacob Hackett, the head coach of the girls soccer team, states, “Isabella is a very strong passer with field vision above most high school players. But what truly separates Isabella from other players is her leadership. She is not only a great leader, but uses an amazing level of compassion and caring for all [of] her teammates.” With a great understanding of not only the field but her players, Coach Hackett sees Isabella as a true leader of the team. Being chosen as captain, alongside junior, Aimee Diverniero, and senior, Christina Fazzino, Isabella knew this quality was important to uphold - even in times of struggle. “In last year's state game, we were losing by a lot and still towards the end, we were told to not give up and keep going. And this season, I made sure I followed the same mindset. I think that could have also contributed to my receiving of awards. Never giving up and always trying. And making sure the team did it as well,” said Isabella.
Isabella continues to be recognized for her athletic accomplishments outside of her league and conference. On January 19th, Isabella will be honored for All-State recognition at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville CT. Throughout all the accomplishments, her parents have shown immense pride in their daughter. Jennifer Pilato, Isabella's mother, says, “Isabella is a humble, unselfish, smart, and cautious player. She is someone I would have wanted to be friends with. She is considerate, kind, fun to be around, and loyal. My husband and I were so incredibly proud of her receiving All-SCC/All State recognition.” Despite all the awards, Isabella will continue to have the same mindset. In the upcoming season, Isabella states, “I want to continue to try my best to hopefully get [All-SCC], but I won't be thinking about it like that. I'll just continue to play like I normally play and if it happens, it happens.”
The Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) was formed in 1994 and has become a 23-member school athletic conference. The purpose of the SCC, as stated through their constitution is, “to provide a central organization through which member schools may cooperate in order to promote the following ends: … to insure a desirable interaction among the schools… develop intelligent recognition of the place of athletics in education of our youth… establish and unify policies of administration… offer a system that will provide for equitable competition… foster and promote the spirit of good sportsmanship and cultural diversity… [and] offer a variety of interscholastic, non-athletic programs which foster the academic and leadership abilities of students.” The SCCs offer a variety of accomplishments such as Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and All-SCC First and Second team. In terms of the All-SCC teams, at the end of each regular athletic season, the head coaches of each sport meet to nominate their players based on statistics and other information to prove their value. Mr. Al Carbone, the SCC Commissioner, states, “The coaches then vote for the best player using a point-system, but cannot vote for their own players… In terms of soccer, the top point getters (of coaches' votes) are First Team. The next 24 are Second Team.” The only difference between the accomplishments comes down to the amount of votes received. Isabella shares, “I wasn't expecting it. I knew it was something you had to work for and I was willing to work for it. I was excited when I heard I was nominated for it.” Although there is no banquet, at the leagues championship game the players are recognized at halftime and have their pictures taken; these pictures are usually placed in the schools trophy case and posted to the league's website.
Isabella Pilato has proven to the EHHS community to be a skilled player, and leader, of the high school soccer team. With receiving not only All-SCC, but All-State, Senior captain Christina believes, “There is no stopping Isabella. Isabella is an amazing player who I believe will always push herself to be better.” Isabella has not only been recognized by her teammates, coach, and community, but by the SCC and State; she demonstrates she can score in any field she desires!