Plymouth, Massachusetts native becomes newest member of Skyhawks women's soccer program
EASTON, Mass. (April 23, 2018) – The Stonehill College women's soccer program has announced the signing of Plymouth, Massachusetts native Alanna Long to its program during a draft day through Team IMPACT at the Sally Blair Sports Complex on Saturday morning prior to hosting its alumni soccer game on W.B. Mason Stadium.
Alanna, 7-years old, has an immune dysfunction called Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID). This disorder impairs the immune system, in which infections and viruses are common. She tires easily and with had to stop being part of team sports.
Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges Together), a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams to form life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes, matched Alanna with the women's soccer team and they first met during the first weekend of April, where they were able to have brunch, kick the ball around, and color with their new teammate.
"We are so excited to have you," stated sophomore Elizabeth Nerger (Marshfield, Massachusetts/Marshfield). "We are so excited to have someone that loves life and especially soccer as much you and you are really going to have a positive impact on all of us."
On Saturday, April 21 at 10:00 a.m., it was official, Alanna signed her name on the line and became the newest member of the women's soccer program. At the ceremony, Alanna was given her own Stonehill women's soccer jersey (#7), one of her favorite numbers, a bag filled with goodies, of course a picture with Ace, and some questions from the press. By signing the contract, she agreed to be a part of the team by coming to practices and games whenever she can and representing her teammates by wearing her Stonehill gear.
"It is such a process through the recruiting of our student-athletes and you were nothing different," remarked Head Coach Alex Wilson. "We have heard some great things about her soccer skills, but more importantly about how she is as a young lady and how she will fit very well into our culture. She loves the color purple and she loves soccer and those are two important elements and will be a great fit for us."
In attendance was the women's soccer team, Alanna's family including her mother, Leanne, her father John, her older brother Nick and younger sister Isabella. "Thank you guys!" exclaimed Leanne. "Especially the four girls that spent time with her, she's been on Facetime and texting everyone. She hasn't stopped talking about you guys. She's really loving the relationships that she is building, she needs this."
Alanna took part in a green screen photo shoot with the team after the press conference and then warmed up with the returning players prior to the alumni game on W.B. Mason Stadium. Alanna was voted as the honorary captain, was able to win the coin flip for the initial kickoff, and dribbled past all alumni for the first goal of the game.
Stonehill concluded its season with a 7-11-0 overall record and a 5-9-0 NE10 record. The Skyhawks ranked ninth in the conference standings, just shyly missing out on playoffs.
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