S.E. Pa. girls' soccer player of the year

Maggie Daeche, of Neshaminy, right, is the Southeastern Pennsylvania girls' soccer player of the year. Kate Harman/Staff

There have been times over the course of the last few seasons, Neshaminy coach Chelsea Lovelace said, during which her team's back line got disconnected, and an opposing player had the ball with nothing but the goal in front of her. Lovelace remembers the feeling, standing on the sideline and watching it unfold.

"How is anyone going to get back? This is going to be a goal."

And then there was Maggie Daeche.

The senior center back seemed to come out of nowhere, Lovelace said, made a clear tackle, came through with the ball and cleared it up the field to put her squad out of harm's way.

That's who Daeche is. And it is why she is the 2016 Southeastern Pennsylvania girls' soccer player of the year.

"It's a comfort having her in the back line," Lovelace said. "We can just be confident with her back there. Maggie has got it under control. She rarely makes mistakes. She's consistent. She doesn't ever hang her head, doesn't stop working hard and is always putting in the effort. That defines her as a player. She doesn't ever give up."

The Drexel recruit was the backbone and leader of a Neshaminy team that went 20-2-1 overall and 12-1-1 in the Suburban One National Conference, capturing the District 1 Class 4A championship in the process. Daeche helped anchor a back line that earned 14 shutouts and only allowed 13 goals all season with the technically savvy but also physically strong defender steadily limiting the opposing side's shots in every contest.

She also had a habit of tracking back to stop plays from developing, blocking shots before they even reached the Neshaminy keeper and getting in the passing lanes to squelch the opposition.

"We used to joke with her," Lovelace said, "and ask if we could clone her so we could put one of her at center back and the other at center [midfield]."

Preferably that clone would be younger than Daeche and returning to the roster for next season.

kharman@phillynews.com

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