You walk down the history hallway, heading towards your next class. As you near the library, laughter erupts from inside a classroom. Intrigued, you peer in to find an amusing scene: Medfield girls of all grades sharing a laugh with a...teacher? Although some call her that, most of them just call her Coach.
If you're ever looking for a girl on the varsity soccer team, Coach Melinda Lohan's classroom is where you'll most likely find them. Before and after school, sometimes even in between periods, you can find the group preparing for its next game. Coach Lohan is the Assistant Athletic Director at MHS, as well as the Assistant Coach of the girls varsity soccer team, and she has helped lead the girls to three consecutive TVL championship titles.
But what makes such a successful team tick? When asked how the team prepares differently for the tournament than regular season games, Lohan stated that the mental focus is different. She said that each girl has to be mentally and physically prepared for practice and games. "Every day is a bonus day," Lohan explained. "We take things a little more seriously."
With all of the pressure to win for themselves, the school, their friends, and their families, the team is all seriousness before a big game. The players arrive fifteen minutes before the coaches to do their routine: setting goals, giving advice, and pumping each other up. When the team finishes singing "White Houses" by Vanessa Carlton, "we know that they're focused and ready to go," Lohan said.
How did Lohan get involved with soccer in the first place? She played all her life, describing excitedly how soccer is, "in [her] blood." The sport "made such a difference in [her] life in high school and even college," and Lohan revealed that it is a pleasure and a privilege to coach such a "unique group."
Coach Lohan's experience in the soccer world has given her a good idea of what the definition of a leader in soccer is. She said that a skilled player leads not only by what she says but by what she does. She puts all of her energy and heart on the field for her team and is willing to say the thing that needs to be said. As a whole, the team's best quality is "that we are a team." She describes the girls
as kind and genuine, and says how they generally care about everyone and every other Medfield team. Her goals for the team include earning their wins and being able to say they have practice the following day. "They want to do anything possible to make sure this never ends." Though the post-season ended, it wasn't before the team took the title of state champions.
According to senior captain Mimi Borkan, “[Coach] Lohan is probably the most supportive coach you could ask for…we all look up to and respect her a lot. The team would not be the same without her.”
It's quite obvious the bond Coach Lohan has with the team is strong. She admitted, "This is a special group...[it's] difficult to put in words...the kind of group that makes you want to be a better person." Coach Lohan does everything she can for them because overall, they're "just nice kids."