For the better part of three years, Nottingham senior Gia Girman has shined as brightly as Polaris in the night sky, dominating the Colonial Valley Conference.
But this season has been a challenge for Girman and the Northstars: the senior has been playing all over the pitch, most recently in the back four to help replace her injured twin sister Gabi.
Thursday, though, against the Blue Devils, Girman was unleashed up top in the first half against Ewing, knowing that a major milestone was within reach.
Girman, who came into the contest with 94 career goals, needed just 26 minutes to reach the century mark in a 7-0 Nottingham (3-7-1) victory. She dribbled through, around, and past defenders with ease, scoring the six goals she needed in a flash. Girman then dropped back into the back four for the rest of the half, assisting Maddie Perez’s first goal of the campaign, before making way at halftime.
“I knew what I needed, yeah,” Girman said. “I knew this was going to be one of the last games, and we are going into the postseason, so I will probably be put in the back. So I knew it was today, or probably not at all.
“To be one of two girls at the school to do it, I am very thankful. I have to thank my coaches for letting me get it done.”
Girman is the second Nottingham player to reach the century mark (Erin Wingerter). She now has of 25 of Nottingham’s 30 goals for the campaign, and three more assists, so she has been involved in 93 percent of the offense this year. She is one of just three girls on the roster to have scored this season, along with Brooklyn Samonksi (four goals) and Perez.
“Honestly, this has probably been my goal since sophomore year,” Girman said. “I am extremely happy. I worked hard for it, and I feel like it is well deserved. In the beginning of the season, I was questioning it (whether or not she would get to the milestone). And then when Gab got injured, I was kind of like “Wow, I need to step up and stay on the back line.’ But then it ended up happening.
“This year has taught me to play other positions, and helped me grow as a person. When you are in situations like this, you have to step up, be the bigger person, and do what is best for your team.”
The Rutgers-bound senior has helped the Nottingham program, once the class of the Colonial Valley Conference in the late 1980s and the early 1990s along with Shelley Dearden’s Ewing team, become successful again after a long decade-plus of struggles.
The Northstars had winning campaigns in Girman’s freshman and sophomore years, the latter of which was the best record for the Hamilton school (13 wins) in a while, thanks to the striker’s 36 goals. Last year was a little tougher, but the Stars went into tournament season at .500, before two first round losses ended their season.
While it has been a struggle this season in the CVC for the Northstars, it will go down as a memorable individual campaign for Girman, as she prepares to head off into the club season with PDA, and then eventually to Rutgers next fall.
“A lot of people look at it and say it was just me,” Girman said. “But throughout the four years, there have been a lot of players who worked hard, and were good around me. It wasn’t just me. I am thankful for it. I am blessed.”