Published December 24. 2012 4:00AM
Nowhere in the history of soccer in this region — and perhaps out of this region — had a player of either gender accomplished this.
Not even in a career, let along the same season, two weeks apart.
And that's what makes Meredith Moore's autumn of 2012 one of the memorable athletic periods in the Eastern Connecticut Conference's history.
Any time, any sport.
Moore, a junior at East Lyme High School, has been named The Day's 2012 All-Area Girls' Soccer Player of the Year. Maybe all the evidence required is this: leading goal scorer (16) on the region's best team, the ECC Large Division champion, ECC tournament champion and last remaining undefeated team into the Class L semifinals.
But it's really not a case of "what" with Moore. It's "when."
She scored the game-winning goal in what became the ECC Large Division championship game with six seconds remaining. East Lyme defeated neighboring rival Waterford, 2-1, a program that has come to sym bolize excellence in the conference. The Vikings overcame a deficit late in the game.
She scored the game-winning goal with 42 seconds left in sudden death overtime of the ECC tournament championship game, too, again helping the Vikings defeat Waterford.
Finally, with the season teetering, she rescued the Vikings in the second half of the Class L quarterfinals, the team's final home game at Bridebrook Park. Moore scored two goals within five minutes of each other in the second half, giving her team a 2-1 win over Wilton.
And after every accomplishment, Moore sheepishly made her way through postgame interviews, deflecting any praise on to her teammates.
"We all did it together," Moore said. "We were all really lucky to have each other."
Moore was the centerpiece of one of the great seasons in program history. And she'd have made a great billboard for young players about how to interact with teammates and coaches. Moore approached everything with an exuberance and innocence that rarely accompanies a player with so many responsibilities.
"She's a great kid. She always has been," said Rob Bruce, the Waterford coach, who also coaches Moore on a premier team in the offseason. "A great personality."
Brule, even in his disappointment over losing to East Lyme, managed a grin at the thought of losing to a young woman for whom he has the utmost respect.
"I'll try not to teach her so well (this offseason)," Brule said.
Moore said she really doesn't have much of a college list. But that will change over the summer and into next year, when she is very likely the league's marquee player.
"Meredith had an amazing season," East Lyme coach Rachel Redding said. "I had a lot of great senior leaders and she fits right in that role as a junior. They all worked hard for each other."