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South Meadow soccer star travels to Ireland for Olympic development

  • Katie Carey, fifth from left, and her US Olympic developmental soccer program teammates in Ireland. Courtesy photo

  • Katie Carey and her US Olympic developmental soccer program teammates in Ireland. Courtesy photo—


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, March 26, 2018 5:51PM

By BEN CONANT

First South Meadow School, now the world. SMS 8th-grader Katie Carey got a unique opportunity to travel to Ireland as part of the United States Olympic developmental soccer program, playing against the best of the Emerald Isle.

Carey attended a weeklong soccer camp last summer where she was one of 40 of the East Coast’s top players selected for a second session. After surviving the cut down to 16 players, Carey made the team and headed to Ireland in mid-March for a week of training and game action against Irish club teams.

“Ever since I was really young, I’ve dreamed of doing something like this, going overseas and playing soccer,” Carey said.

For a striker who idolizes U.S. Olympian Alex Morgan, international soccer competition was a dream come true. Carey and her teammates started in Dublin, then played at Ballinasloe and finished off the run at Galway. Carey, the only New Hampshire player on the trip, said the Irish teams played a faster brand of soccer than her U.S. teammates were used to.

“They play really fast over there,” Carey said. “It took a little time to get used to. They already knew where they were going to pass — they’d been playing with each other their entire lives. We knew each other from just a few days.”

But, the U.S. team adjusted and ended up sweeping their hosts, winning all three contests with Carey scoring a goal along the way.

“It was a really great learning experience as we were playing them,” Carey said.

The girls finished up their trip with a day off on Saint Patrick’s Day, a chance to get the true Ireland experience.

“For us going over there not knowing a lot of the sightseeing things, there were a lot of really nice people there willing to go out of their way to help us,” Carey said.

Now back in the states, Carey will play travel soccer this spring and ready for a shot at the ConVal varsity team as a freshman in the fall.