Written by Terri Rizzi and Christy Hinko Friday, 31 December 2010 00:00
Sophomore Christina Merrill has the most assists of any player on the Women’s Soccer Team at Farmingdale State College and was named Player of the Year at the Skyline Conference.
Merrill, a Levittown resident, started playing soccer when she was 5 years old and hasn’t stopped yet.
She’s the college’s midfielder, leading the team in points with 29 and 13 assists in a single game. She is ranked 11th in the nation in assists and 23rd in Division III.
“Christina Merrill is such a great player because of her dedication and extreme work ethic. She is one of the hardest working kids I have ever seen,” said Chris Roche, coach of the Women’s Soccer Team.
Merrill is a 2009 graduate of Island Trees High School, where she received All-Class honors her junior and senior seasons.
Island Trees High School Head Coach Andrew Schneider (formerly the coaching assistant) spoke to the Tribune about Merrill’s athletic accomplishments, calling her an unbelievable athlete.
“She’s a very talented player, so she was able to play at any number of schools, but Farmingdale was a perfect fit for her; she loved the coach; she wanted to stay near home; it was a place where she could step in and play right away and contribute,” said Coach Schneider. “She’s always been the type of player who makes everyone around her better. I noticed that she was one of the leaders in assists; she never needed the spotlight of scoring the goals, she was all about setting up her teammates.”
Schneider was the coaching assistant and basketball coach while Merrill attended ITHS, and even recalls that she had been a student of his since she was in fourth grade.
“The hardest part of soccer is all the running that is required,” said Merrill. Her hard work is paying off.
Both Merrill and Rams teammate Carly Schneider agree that Johns Hopkins is one of the hardest teams to beat but staying focused helped Farmingdale beat this tough team.
“Christina Merrill is an awesome player and the fastest on the team,” said teammate Schneider. “She makes amazing shots during our games.”
The team looks forward to the next season and hopes to win the NCAA Championship in 2011. The Farmingdale Rams shut out eight of 10 Skyline opponents this season.