The Varsity Girls Soccer team wrapped up a hugely successful season capturing the Friends Schools League title for the second time in program history and advancing to the PAISAA State Tournament. Fueling much of the Tiger’s offensive power was Margaret Harvey '23. The left wing with a nose for the goal and an eye for the prize was named to the 2021 All-State Girls Soccer Team, composed of the top players from all Pennsylvania public, independent, and charter schools, and selected by coaches.
Harvey is only the second GFS girl's team player to earn the title of All-State and one of thirteen girls from the FSL in the last 33 years, when the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association began announcing Girls All-State teams.
Historically, about 60 athletes—including 25 forwards—earn the esteemed honor, placing Harvey among the best of the best. The full list of All-State honorees will be added once available.
“Honestly, I was not anticipating being selected for All-State at all so it came as a big shock when (Coach) Manolo pulled me aside after one practice and told me,” said Harvey. “It’s a great honor and I’m really thankful for my team because they’re the ones who helped me get to this spot, and I’m not sure if I would’ve even been considered if it weren’t for the team’s success this season.”
For Coach Manolo Sanchez '10, Harvey’s honor was well deserved, and an acknowledgment of her stellar offensive and team skills, a result of her dedication to continually upgrading her game.
“What makes Margaret so unique and valuable is that she plays with no fear. She takes the game into her own hands, and she’s not afraid to make mistakes or take risks. Margaret always forces defenders on the back foot, which sets an important tone for us in the offensive phase of the game,” Sanchez said.
“Margaret is eager to improve each and every day, and has grown so much from when we first had her as an eighth grade student. The work she puts in during practice and in the off-season has led to this honor. I’m so glad to see it paying off,” Sanchez said.
She has been a member of the Varsity squad since eighth grade, earned All-League Honorable Mention honors her first two seasons. The leap to All-State is a tremendous one—one that Harvey acknowledges is due to her team’s unity, as well as her fervor to finish what her teammates start for her.
“This team is unique because we are all so dedicated to one another and to the game. I always come into practice ready to push my teammates so that they can be the best players that they can be and I know, with full confidence, that my teammates are doing the exact same for me,” Harvey said.
“On the field, I’m always looking for chances to create opportunities for my teammates. The biggest thing I try to do for my teammates is finish the chances that they've worked hard to create for me.”
Harvey’s passion for the sport—and her goal of playing collegiate soccer—keep her busy. She trains with her club Steel United 04 Girls Elite, based in Broomall. With the demands of club soccer and college recruiting, she has not lost sight of her high priority, short-term goals: to win the FSL again in 2022.
“I want to win another FSL championship, but I also want us to continue working together to improve on the principles that we learned this year,” Harvey said. “Our team had a lot of great players and a lot of talent this year. We were so successful because we utilized our talents and worked together on the field. That, accompanied by some great coaching, made for a winning season—and we can do it again!”
Director of Athletics Katie Bergstrom Mark commented on Harvey’s outstanding personal performance and her focus on teamwork, a keystone of the GFS Varsity Girls Soccer program.
“Margaret put all of her tools, speed, footwork, and vision together remarkably well this season. What was more impressive was watching her shine as she set up her teammates time and time again to make the team better. By doing so, she grew her own game and helped elevate the team to league champs.”
Video credit: Mark Zimmaro
cover photo credit: Kathy Leister Photography
inside photo credit: Scott Foley