Breaking Down Gender Barriers

It’s not every day you get to hear about a high school girl captaining a varsity boy’s soccer team and being successful at it.

Meet Aditi Vyas. A senior who goes to the Middlesex County Academy in Edison, New Jersey which is a school only 10 years into existence and one that only accepts 40 kids each year from the entire county based upon an entrance exam which usually yields only a 20% acceptance rate.

As a senior this year, she co-captained the squad to a 9-9-1 record but an outstanding 7-2-1 in division mark where they fell one pathetically refereed game short of winning at least a share of the Gold Division. I had a couple of opportunities to coach her both during her regular school season and in two indoor seasons where she has been nothing short for a great leader for her squad which at times were quite inexperienced. There was never a doubt in my mind she would be able to overcome some of the verbal/physical abuse you take in the GMC (or in any competitive environment) as a female going up against male opponents.

When the Academy soccer program back in 2004, the initial squad featured two girls with the Scala sisters who certainly took more than their fair share of abuse on the playing field but if you were to ask anybody from the program over the years, they wouldn’t replace either one of them and I am certain that has been the case for all the girls that have passed through the program since from Danielle and Lauren Scala to Allison Mazur to Aditi Vyas and will be the case for those to follow.

Coming from a school with approximately 150 students, it didn’t matter where you were from, it didn’t matter if you were a freshman or senior and it most certainly didn’t matter what your gender was. Having a great leader and coach who stood up for the team and instilled these beliefs, made the task to be just another day on the soccer field.┬áIt is good to see the school get some more recognition which has finished at or near the top of its division despite carrying a co-ed roster from year 1 going 55-54-2 since 2004 and 45-23-2 in division.

For a look at the entire piece that was featured, click here: The Home News Tribune: Locker Room.