Sports

St. Mary’s Feliz to play college soccer at Wentworth

St. Mary's senior Sherly Feliz (left) is joined by her mother, Anny Rodriguez (right) as she signs her letter of intent. (COURTESY PHOTO)

LYNN — It’s probably no coincidence that during Sherly Feliz’s four seasons on the varsity girls soccer team, the Spartans made four trips to the Division 4 North state tournament. This past season, Feliz helped guide the Spartans to the sectional semifinal after an 11-6-1 regular season.

Now Feliz is taking the next step in her soccer career. The senior center-midfielder will play collegiate soccer at Division III Wentworth University in Boston. Feliz signed her letter of intent last week.

“I think Sherly has worked extremely hard,” Spartans coach Jim Foley said. “That’s her goal. She’s always wanted to play in college. Her and the other captains dedicated themselves to working hard during the offseason. I think this is a great spot for her. She can play multiple positions and to be honest, I think she can do fine at the next level.

“We’ve players go Division I, II and III, ” Foley added. “It’s good for the program to see someone go play in college in terms of our program getting noticed. We do produce girls that play in college, which is good. The fact that they go to the next level and get their education, it’s good to see when they play at the next level.”

For Feliz, Wentworth’s campus and academic opportunities were two of the key factors that led to her commitment.

“Wentworth, of all the schools I applied to, offered construction management, which I felt was good for me,” Feliz, a Salem resident, said. “I’m the type of person that’s very social. I thought involving math with meeting new people and being outdoors a lot would be really good for me.

“The location is literally perfect,” Feliz said. “I love Boston. The school’s right in the middle of the city where I can get anywhere.”

She also considered Salem State, Fitchburg State and Plymouth State. But Wentworth was Feliz’s No. 1 choice all along.

“At first it was very stressful because I wasn’t sure if I’d get into Wentworth,” Feliz, a two-sport athlete who also plays lacrosse, said. “That was my top choice. I ended up getting into the other three schools first. Finally when I got into Wentworth it kind of all fell into place and it felt right.”

The Leopards compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Wentworth finished the 2018 season at 7-10-2, going 2-5-1 against conference opponents. In 2016, the Leopards won the CCC and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament. They defeated Arcadia, 1-0, in the opening round before falling to Williams, 1-0, in the second round.

Feliz knows challenges are ahead in adjusting to the pace of play in college but is eager to earn a role when she joins the team.

“I’m not sure how I’m going to do yet but I’m really excited to see how i can handle it,” Feliz said.

Foley’s confident Feliz is in a good position to succeed at Wentworth.

“Sherly is a hard-nosed player,” Foley said. “She’s very coachable, takes instructions very well and she can take instructions on the field. She’s kind of like another coach out there.

“She’s a good kid and her mother has done an excellent job with her. She’s a great person. She’s been on varsity since her freshman year. I wish her nothing but the best.”

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