ENOSBURG — Zoe McGee of the Enosburg Hornets varsity soccer team has earned five shutouts this season (as of press time).
McGee earned four in the regular season and the final in Saturday’s quarterfinal against Lake Region.
“Going into the season, I was concerned Zoe might not be aggressive enough, but she’s proved me wrong,” said Hornet coach Rodney Burns.
“She’s not afraid to attack, she sets herself up well in net, and she knows when she needs to go out and when she doesn’t. She’s everything I was hoping she’d be.”
Burns recalled McGee’s performance against Danville in the final game of the regular season.
“We were geared up going into the Danville game. They’d only lost one game before they played us,” said Burns.
“Zoe really stepped up in that game. She had 14 shots on goal, made some great saves, and picked up her fourth shutout.”
McGee’s strength in net has contributed to the Hornets’ success in the postseason.
“In the last two playoff games, our opponents put the pressure on us and shot the ball quite a bit. Zoe positioned herself to make the saves,” said Burns.
“She got a little banged up in the Randolph game, but thankfully, she was all right and could finish the game.
“She did a great job resting and getting ready for Lake Region; she was a little sore, but she didn’t complain. She wanted nothing more than to be out there, and that shows a lot of grit.”
Burns complimented McGee on the attributes she brings to the field every day.
“Zoe’s a gamer! You never have to worry as a coach that she’s not going to get the job done.”
A stiff competitor, McGee, brings a passion for the game, but she also brings some fun to the field.
“There’s always a joker on a team, and I think that’s Zoe. She’s serious a lot of the time, but she likes to joke around,” said Burns.
“She’s very vocal, and she likes to win; she’s very determined, and she sees the field very well.
“She doesn’t get down if a goal is scored; she’ll shake it off and get back to work. She does a great job in the leadership role on the field.
“Zoe keeps moving forward and bettering herself as a person and a player. She’s been a real joy to coach.”
The Enosburg girls have been an offensive powerhouse, scoring 42 goals and allowing only five.
“That says a lot about our goalie and our defense,” said Burns.
“Zoe’s had more than ten saves in at least four of nine games.”
Burns was pleased McGee worked with the Enosburg boys’ goalie coach Rich Ross this season.
“Zoe’s worked quite a bit with Rich, and it’s been really good for her,” said Burns.
“She’s got a good recognition of the game and what she needs to do. She’s a winner and a go-getter, and she does whatever it takes to stop the ball.”
When asked why she chose to be a goalie, McGee noted that it ran in the family.
“I’ve always enjoyed being a goalie because they’re a big part of the team. My brother, Zeke, started out as a goalie, and I like to follow in his footsteps,” said McGee.
“I get to see the whole field and all that’s going on, and I can help the girls out.”
The Hornets 2-1 win over in-county rival BFA Fairfax gave McGee a moment she won’t forget.
“Fairfax had a chance to score near the end. The ball came across the mouth of the goal. I dove and stopped it, and everyone went crazy,” said McGee.
McGee and the Hornets had many adjustments to make this season--from COVID restrictions to coaching changes.
“The coaches are always great and make it fun. They include things that help us, but also things that will help us have a good time,” said McGee.
Working with Rich Ross was another change McGee enjoyed.
“Rich is such a great help. I was a little timid in net; I knew I could get hurt. He snapped me out of that,” said McGee.
“I started practicing with him, and he drilled it into my head that I needed to get over my fear and get on the ground more.
“It’s helped a lot in games. If I hadn’t worked with him, I wouldn’t be half as good I am now.”
McGee also thanked her ‘sisterhood’ of defenders.
“My heart rate goes through the roof when that ball is coming, and then Megan Severance and Emily Adams come in and get the ball,” said McGee.
“We work like a well-oiled machine. If one doesn’t have it, another will swoop in and take her place.”
Hosting three playoff games has added lots of fun to the short, COVID season.
“It’s been a dream. We went to semi’s last year; I thought we’d go further, but Thetford really handed it to us,” said McGee.
“I’d love to see us put a banner on the wall for the Enosburg girls’ soccer team.”
The season has been short, masks have become part of the uniform, and the crowds have been a little thinner with COVID restrictions, but McGee has found plenty to be grateful for.
“I need to thank Renee (Pattee); she’s always there for me, and we go way back!” said McGee.
“Rodney is always uplifting, telling me how well I’m doing. They believe in me, and that gives me hope.
“My family is very supportive; they’re always cheering from the sidelines. My brother is a big supporter.
“It’s a lot different this year, but the fact that people are still cheering for us on is so fantastic. It’s giving us so much hope!”