Pictured: Soccer isn’t Lily Kenney’s first sport, but the caliber of her performance as Cromwell’s keeper this fall was worthy of Player of the Year honors. (Photo by Paul Augeri) 

By Paul Augeri
middlesexcountysports@gmail.com

It’s unusual for Player of the Year voting in the Shoreline Conference – boys or girls — to swing in a goalkeeper’s favor, but this year’s outcome speaks to the value junior Lily Kenney had for Cromwell.

“Lily is what college football would call recruits that don’t have a formal position – an athlete,” Panthers coach Marcelo Caetano said. “With Lily, she is an athlete who plays the position. What she has been able to do with limited formal training is outstanding. Winning Player of the Year as a goalie is an even bigger feat, and she managed to do that.”

Several years ago, keeper Allie Augur of North Branford was voted Shoreline Player of the Year two consecutive seasons. Augur went on to play at Boston College and transferred to Georgetown, where she had 22 starts this fall and led the Hoyas to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

“Augur was a once-in-a-lifetime keeper,” Caetano said. “I believe Lily, had she had the training, would be at her level or higher. She really doesn’t have a ceiling.”

Soccer is not Kenney’s first sport. She was one of the state’s top softball pitchers as a sophomore and already has given a verbal commitment to play for Adelphi University, an NCAA Division II program on Long Island.

“Lily is our heart and soul and she is our biggest component to our success,” said Caetano, who was voted Shoreline Coach of the Year after the Panthers’ 10-0-6 regular season. “I always say that when on the field the goalie is our leader, and she proves it each and every day.

“I am blessed to have the players I have and have had, but Lily is just different. A top-notch player who is humble and has a team-first mentality is rare. I can go on and on about her, but I am just excited to have one more year as her coach.”

The Panthers lost just twice – 1-0 to Portland in the conference tournament and 1-0 to Sacred Heart Academy in the CIAC Class M quarterfinal round. With Kenney in net, the Panthers surrendered only five goals in 20 matches.

Kenney was joined on the Shoreline’s First Team by senior teammates Amira Abdelghany and Isabella Barber and junior Leila LeBlanc. Three players from Shoreline champion Morgan also headlined the First Team: seniors Taylor Maher and Natalia Comiskey and junior Caeley Ayer. Maher will go on to play at Franklin Pierce.

Chris Donahue of Portland was named assistant coach of the year.

Shoreline coaches cast their votes at the conclusion of the regular season.

First Team

LILY KENNEY, Jr. Goalkeeper, Cromwell

KATIE FARR, Jr., Coginchaug

SAM PAUL, Sr., Coginchaug

AMIRA ABDELGHANY, Sr., Cromwell

ISABELLA BARBER, Sr., Cromwell

LEILA LeBLANC, Jr., Cromwell

YUMI IMAI, Sr., Haddam-Killingworth

ALEXIS FENTON, Jr., Old Lyme

LYLA POWERS, Jr., Old Lyme

CAELEY AYER, Jr., Morgan

NATALIA COMISKEY, Sr., Morgan

TAYLOR MAHER, Sr., Morgan

LILY CODY, Sr., Old Saybrook

MIA QUESNEL, Jr., Portland

KENDRA SCHOEPS, Sr., Portland

Second Team

ALLY WOODWARD, Jr., Coginchaug

CAMERYN HICKEY, Soph., Cromwell

LIV LUSITANI, Jr., Cromwell

SYDNEY BLYLER, Sr., East Hampton

ASHLEY DelloIacono, Jr., Hale-Ray

LEAH CHESTER, Jr., Haddam-Killingworth

MADDIE McCULLOCH, Jr., Old Lyme

EMILY SMITH, Jr., Morgan

KATELYN MARTIN, Jr., Morgan

AVA CANDELORA, Jr. Goalkeeper, North Branford

ALLIE LaMOTTE, Jr., Old Saybrook

GUILIANA DISCENZA, Sr., Portland

ELIZABETH ALLEN, Jr. Goalkeeper, Valley Regional

SOPHIA SURBER, Sr., Valley Regional

SADIE SUSI, Sr., Westbrook

Honorable Mention

SOPHIE FARR, Fr., Coginchaug

ALYSSA WOODWARD, Sr., Coginchaug

KATIE BARBER, Sr., Cromwell

ERIN SOKOLOWSKI, Sr., Cromwell

MADELINE CRUMB, Jr., East Hampton

BRIANNE MILLER, Jr., East Hampton

STEPHANIE MAURO, Sr., Old Lyme

OLIVIA KELLY, Fr., Old Lyme

JULIA TANNER, Sr., Morgan

JESSICA FLANAGAN, Sr., Morgan

ANGELINA COMISKEY, Sr., Morgan

GLENDA ZHIMINAICELA, Sr., Morgan

ELLA HAGELSTON, Sr., Old Saybrook

ABBY COLELLA, Jr., Old Saybrook

KATE BRADY, Jr., Old Saybrook

KENDALL PRINCE, Sr., Portland

CAMRYN DiMAURO, Soph., Portland

ALLISON SCOTT, Sr., Portland

OLIVIA BALDWIN, Jr., Valley Regional

ELIZABETH CLOMP, Sr., Valley Regional

CAROLINE HUTCHINSON, Sr., Valley Regional

ALEXANDRA ZANZALARI, Sr., Westbrook

HADLEY COMMERFORD, Sr., Haddam-Killingworth

LEAH SOSNOWSKI, Sr., Haddam-Killingworth

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