The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

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Lucy Peterson Chosen to Represent Team USA in International Down Syndrome Soccer Tournament


Recently, Mount Vernon High School senior Lucy Peterson was selected to represent our country at the inaugural installment of the Down Syndrome Football America Cup in Brazil. The tournament will take place Nov. 17-26, and include teams from the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Uruguay, and Chile.

Lucy’s immediate response to the email declaring that she had made the team was a feeling of amazement. “I am most excited to see the coaches and friends that I made at camp. I also really want to score a goal.”

Making this team is no small accomplishment. Just to qualify to be a part of this team, Lucy had to attend one of four camps across the country and compete to earn her spot. She attended the camp that was hosted at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey from Jul. 13-16. Each day, she practiced with fellow competitors for at least four hours.

After this camp, she had to await confirmation of whether or not she earned a spot on the team, and on Aug. 11, Lucy and her family received an email notifying them that Lucy had secured a spot on the DSSA First National Team.

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This one achievement was the culmination of over ten years of hard work. Her mother, Mandy Peterson, said, “Lucy has played soccer since she was five years old.”

Lucy has played soccer at many different levels, beginning in recreational leagues, but eventually began earning her first spots on traveling club teams and now, she is a captain on the high school’s junior varsity soccer team.

“She has always been a true competitor, always giving it all she has on the field even when the other players have physical advantages. When she isn’t in season, she’s conditioning or lifting with her high school team,” her mother, Mandy, says.

“Her dedication to the sport of soccer and off-season training has propelled her toward her upcoming experience. Lucy has entirely earned her selection on the DSSA National Team! I’m grateful that she has been a part of our program and know that she will perform with excellence in Brazil,” Coach Travis Keller shares, further testifying to her work ethic and love for the game.

Lucy is the epitome of what it means to be a Mount Vernon Yellow Jacket. She does not quit because of adversity, and is willing to work in and out of season. She always manages to bring the positive attitude that everyone loves to have in a teammate. Her energy is contagious both on and off the field, and the HIVE could not be more proud to say she is one of our own.

The road was not always easy for Lucy. But she has proven that with enough hard work and dedication, anything can be accomplished.

“Lucy has been very responsive to coaching and has improved both her technical skill and positional knowledge of the game. She thrives playing center forward and outside back, however players entering national player pipelines have to be ready to adjust to play any position. I expect Lucy’s existing knowledge of the game and ability to follow coaching instruction will enable her to thrive in whatever position she plays with the national team,” Coach Keller says.

She gives her all for the Lady Jackets, and there is no doubt that she will bring the same attitude into this DSSA First National Team. Despite this being the first installment, Lucy has said that she would love to, “bring the gold home for Team USA.”

Although Lucy is incredibly excited to represent her country, she is just as excited for the experiences that will come with this opportunity.

“I’m excited to try new stuff, like new food,” and “I’m excited to see my girlfriends and the team!” Lucy says.

While this is an amazing experience athletically, it is also an amazing chance to learn about the culture of Brazil, and just experience new things. Lucy will have a camera with her for the trip, and once the tournament is over, the Jacket Journal will publish a photo essay highlighting some of Lucy’s favorite memories of the trip.

There are other things Peterson is excited about, but the focus will remain on further preparation to perform her absolute best on the world stage. Coach Keller says, “Through the rest of the season and until November 17th, it’s time to get back to training for Copa America! Lucy’s father and I are planning training sessions for Lucy so that she is ready for Sao Paulo. I expect that Lucy will bring the same eagerness to play that she has brought to the high school team.”

Lucy and her family will be in Brazil from Nov. 17-26, and all of the confirmed final scores will be able to be found on ESPN. From all of the HIVE, congratulations Lucy. Keep making us proud!

This story was originally published on Jacket Journal on October 2, 2023.