Erin Snyder first learned to play soccer at age 5, and she knew she could never give it up.
Her father, Denny Snyder, exposed her to the sport and continued to push her through practices and games. He wasn’t her coach — yet — but his motivation and support was always evident.
Erin Snyder was in sixth grade when Denny Snyder became coach of the varsity girls soccer team at Winters Mill. Erin Snyder arrived three years later, tried out, and made the team.
Erin Snyder, a repeat first team all-countian, honed her skills as a dynamic center-midfielder for the Falcons en route to being named the Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“I just keep my head in the game and keep playing hard,” Erin Snyder said. “I don’t really think about the time. I keep going 100 percent the whole game and try to build my teammates up and get us motivated to finish out the game strong.”
The four-year varsity starter compiled seven goals and four assists as a senior this fall, and Denny Snyder said he saw her step up her passion for the game.
“Watching Erin grow as a soccer player has been fun to watch,” Denny Snyder said. “It’s been her total passion over the years. … She’s constantly working at soccer and it’s clearly her number one sport. Having been here and having the opportunity to coach Erin was definitely a new experience.
“High school was really the only time I had the opportunity to coach her and it was definitely a special year, one I will never forget.”
Winters Mill’s first five games of the season resulted in three losses and two ties. There was a turning point, however, and it came when the Falcons defeated city rival Westminster 2-1 in their second Carroll County Athletic League contest.
Snyder’s header was the eventual game-winner, but it wouldn’t be the only time she found the back of the net under highly pressured situations.
The Falcons faced a two-goal deficit early in their CCAL county clash Oct. 19 against Manchester Valley, but Snyder and teammate Shelby Reppe each scored to tie the game at 2-2. Snyder converted a penalty kick with less than 5 minutes to play and it gave the team more than just a comeback win.
The Falcons earned their second consecutive CCAL title, and have compiled a 10-1-1 record against county opponents in the regular season over the last two years.
Erin Snyder said the team just always found a way to work things out.
“We were always down in the first half but we always came back in the second half,” she said. “Things happened when they needed to happen and it worked out for us.”
The Falcons saw their season end with a penalty kick loss to county foe Liberty in the 2A West playoffs, much earlier than they had hoped. It was an emotional ending, but Snyder said the most memorable moments were those she shared growing with her teammates as the season progressed.
“She’s someone who always has a smile on her face on the field and the relationships she’s made with her teammates, I think she will be lifelong friends with all those girls,” Denny Snyder said. “They’ve formed a bond that teammates do and as she looks back I think those are the things, the friendships and the relationships she has formed. It was one of those special years with a special team.”
Erin Snyder, a York College commit, said she is looking forward to what comes next. She always knew soccer would be in her future, and now has the opportunity to play at the next level.