Clare Pleuler's accomplishments on the athletic fields of Gloucester High School will not soon be forgotten. Pleuler is arguably one of, if not the best, girls soccer player to come out of Gloucester as is evident in her scholarship to play soccer at Division 1 Boston University.
Pleuler's skills on the soccer field alone would have been good enough to net her the 2012 Gloucester Daily Times Gloucester female Athlete of the Year. But Pleuler took it one step further playing softball this spring, the first time playing on the diamond since she played Little League Baseball as a 12-year-old. The results turned out to be sterling as Pleuler was named to the Northeastern Conference All Star team.
On the soccer field Pleuler led Gloucester to new heights as the girls squad became the first team in the Fishermen soccer program's history, boys or girls, to get out of the second round of the state tournament. Gloucester did that with a 2-1 win over Dracut in the Division 2 North Quarter Finals and Pleuler played an important role scoring one of the team's two shootout goals.
"That's why she's our leader," Gloucester head girls soccer coach Alex White said. "She keeps us in a lot of games and makes big plays when we need them."
When she finished her soccer career at Gloucester, Pleuler was named to the Northeastern Conference All Star team and the All State team multiple times. It is no coincidence that the program began to take off as Pleuler began to come into her own.
Primarily a midfielder through her first three years, the senior captain switched off between midfield and sweeper this season and the results were about what one would expect — great.
Pleuler showed off her versatility in Gloucester's Division 2 North First Round tilt with Swampscott. Pleuler played sweeper during regulation, thwarting a speedy and crafty Big Blue offense. But when overtime began, White elected to move Pleuler back up to midfield to generate offense and the results were potent and quick.
Just two minutes into the overtime period, Pleuler set up the game-winning goal, moving the ball through the Big Blue midfield and defense before setting up Kali Cook for the finisher.
On the softball diamond one could expect Pleuler to go through an adjustment period after spending so many years away from the game. That was not the case as Pleuler hit the ground running, immediately establishing herself as the team's starting shortstop.
By season's end she was amongst the top hitters in the Northeastern Conference, rivaling any player in the league in batting average, hitting over .500, home runs and RBI according to head coach John Nicastro.
In just one year playing the sport at the high school level, Pleuler proved to be the most productive player on the team.
Pleuler is a rare talent, a type of talent that does not come around too often.
Nick Curcuru may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3444 or email@example.com.