Pair of seniors lead Thomas Jefferson girls soccer in different ways
Friday, September 20, 2019 | 7:52 PM
The Thomas Jefferson girls soccer team is dealing with a unique situation this season.
The Jaguars are operating with one on-the-field captain and one off-the-field captain.
Senior midfielder Dalaney Ranallo is a fourth-year starter and third-year captain. She been the team’s leading goal scorer since her freshman season.
Senior defender Mia Maksin is a second-year captain and would have been a fourth-year starter in 2019. Maksin, however, suffered a season-ending injury to her ACL and meniscus.
“Dalaney’s role is as an on-field speaking captain,” coach Jason Vozar said. “In games and training sessions, she really assists the coaching staff with technical and tactical aspect of the game.
“Mia has been great in working with our back four (on defense). Being a senior defender, she understands what we are trying to do and literally stands on the field instructing them. Our expectations for both are the same — lead by example, set the tone for hard work and success.”
Ranallo and Maksin exhibited varying personalities in being chosen as team captains.
“Dalaney has an intensity about her that is contagious,” Vozar said. “She expects everyone’s best effort in practice and games. And I believe her constant high work rate rubs off on others just by them watching.
“Mia just has a calm and collected way about her. She never really gets too up or down. She’s great with a kid who’s not having her best game. She really understands how to get the best out of everyone.”
Ranallo, also a top player in the TJ basketball program, is an Old Dominion recruit. She has a 4.2 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society and participates in the Spanish, Big Jag Little Cub and TJ vs. Cancer clubs.
“I do my best to get the best out of the girls at every training session,” Ranallo said. “I keep the intensity high in drills. I motivate them to work their very hardest at the highest intensity possible.
“On the field, I lead by example and do as much as I can to put on team in a position to win. I am very vocal on the field and try to help my teammates whenever they need it. Personally, I just want to dominate in the midfield and produce for our team. Off the field, I do my best to instill a family mindset into the girls.”
Maksin, who owns a 4.3 GPA, is a multiple-year letter winner for the Jaguars, and is involved in the theatre program, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Big Jag Little Cub and the TJ vs. Cancer Club. She volunteers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Light.
“I had a 100 percent rupture of my ACL and a tear in my meniscus,” Maksin said prior to the start of the season. “I had surgery in early May to correct the damage. And three years ago, I broke my ankle and had to have surgery as well, which took me out of my freshman season. I did start prior to breaking it, though.”
Maksin, who hopes to study engineering at Pitt, can been seen at TJ’s games, doing her best to offer encouragement to her teammates.
“I am excited to help the team as much as I can from the sidelines,” she said. “I have been to all of the team functions including games and practices, as I couldn’t leave the team in my final year. It has definitely been hard on me to have to watch from the sidelines. I do not dress for the games. I know that if I put the uniform on and have to sit on the bench and not be able to play, it will be even harder for me. But I still represent the team and wear TJ gear on the sidelines.
“And I have helped with the JV team in practices a little more than last year. I will continue to motivate and push my teammates to the best they can be.”
While the TJ girls play their home games at TJ Stadium, they attend classes at the newly built high school located a short distance away.
“The new school is beautiful,” Ranallo said, “a complete upgrade from the old school. I am very grateful I get to spend my senior year in such an amazing building.”
“The new school is amazing, but a little confusing,” she said. “I am excited for all of the new opportunities the school will bring.”
Ranallo and Maksin helped lead the Jaguars to a 4-3-1 section record in mid-September.
“Both girls are very good people and players,” Vozar said, “and I certainly have high expectations for them after they graduate from TJ. I’m sure they will be successful in whatever they decide to pursue in the future.
“I’m very proud to be associated with these two young women.”
On and off the field.
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