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Nipmuc Soccer Stars Make College Plans Official

Three Nipmuc Regional Girls Soccer players signed their National Letters of Intent on February 4 to play soccer at the collegiate level. The three have played together since they were eight years old and they helped bring a state championship to Nipmuc last fall. The three shown holding the state trophy are, l-r, Jenna Fitzgerald, Gabriella Carreiro and Erika Scott. Contributed photo

A decade ago, Erika Scott, Jenna Fitzgerald, and Gabriella Carreiro were playing soccer together on an eight-year-old and under team with their fathers' coaching them. Bound by a common love for the game and a close friendship that has spanned the majority of their young lives, their journey through the sport brought them to a state championship with Nipmuc High last fall.
It was only fitting the trio would be together Wednesday at Nipmuc to sign their National Letters of Intent to play soccer at the collegiate level.
"Every since we were little, we have wanted to play college soccer," Scott said. "It's going to be cool to live out that dream." Scott will play for Merrimack next season, Fitzgerald for Southern New Hampshire, and Carreiro for Boston College.
"It feels really good to make it official, like a weight that's been lifted off your shoulders," Fitzgerald said. "It's amazing to know the three of us started and will end together. It's a great way to end our careers."
"I have grown up with them and played soccer with them since the first grade," Carreiro added. "We have become best friends through soccer and through school. We've been on this journey together."
It's a journey that reached its pinnacle in November when the Warriors took home the state championship. It progressed through the town and club teams the three shared through the years.
"We were at a banquet recently where they showed a video of us playing as kids," Carreiro said. "It's amazing how different we look and how much we have grown up. It's the innocent part of soccer. It's why we play, to have fun and treasure the moments together."
Though the three have always been teammates, Carreiro is a forward while Scott and Fitzgerald anchored the defense. The dichotomy made for a fun rivalry in practices.
"Gabby was always on the opposite team as Erika and I in practices and we would always team up on her and not let her pass," Fitzgerald said. "It was us against her and we joke about it all the time. We were pretty even, but she would fool us sometimes."
The rivalries will continue in college. Southern New Hampshire and Merrimack are both members of the Northeast 10 Conference, meaning Fitzgerald and Scott will see each other on the field, only in opposing uniforms. "It's going to be weird, but we are looking forward to it," Scott said. "That will be a game we circle on the calendar for sure."
"It's going to be fun, we all love soccer and it's through soccer that we've all become such good friends," Fitzgerald said. "We all wanted to play in college but mostly we just fell in love with the game. Being able to play together every day has been something that's made us all very happy."




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