Sidelines role not harmin’ Charlotte

darien-092217charlotte
Senior Charlotte Harmon in her last action on the pitch in 2016. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

GIRLS SOCCER

Being sidelined hasn’t nullified Charlotte Harmon’s influence on the team.

It’s hard for me to watch.

— Charlotte Harmon

“It’s definitely one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through,” said Harmon, a senior captain standout defender who is out for the season. “But I think it’s a special opportunity for me, to take on the role of being a coach and being a listening ear to some of the girls.”

Harmon was hurt back at the start of lacrosse season suffering a major leg injury, that is coming along — she can have intense workouts now — but stills requires she keep from contact.

“And I think it’s important for me to sit back and observe, and see how I can help the team,” she said. “I still get so excited watching the girls that I’ve played with for as long as I remember.”

The essentially four-year starter gets pumped up, although let down a little, both at the same time.

“It’s hard for me to watch, and not have myself on the (field),” Harmon said. “But it’s still a really special experience being on one of the Darien teams; soccer or lacrosse.”

Harmon’s had some company in both her own, and teams’ misery.

Last year’s soccer and lacrosse captain Laura Murphy (Class of 2017) went down to season-ending leg injury at the start of the 2017 lax season too, with both swinging on crutches on the sidelines most of the spring.

“I thought it was some crazy coincidence,” said Harmon. “I didn’t think that either of us would be off for as long as we are.”

The junior Harmon served a sort of season-long apprenticeship at being a guiding spirit of the sidelines.

“She was a really good role model for me during it too, because, she was one of the only two captains we had,” Harmon said. “And she took it like a champ. She showed me the ropes.”

Leaving a gap with her absence at the back, has Harmon filled in any other way, to contribute to what has been a shutout spree through the first four games of the season with just one goal against in five?

“Well, especially with the newer girls that are playing defense,” said Harmon.

One is Emily Bergwall, a senior, who is seasoned, proven, but has moved back from midfield to help patch over Harmon’s absence with experience.

“She knows what’s up,” said Harmon. “But then the other one is (junior) Eva Finn, who is playing on the left side. I love how in one practice she was asking me what she should be doing, because at first I think she wasn’t exactly sure. But she is a really strong girl.”

Harmon can still throw.

“We would go off to the side and throw to each other, because in games, her throw-ins would be almost like a direct line instead of, like a rainbow, she said of Finn. “So we worked on something like that. And she felt more comfortable in games every time the ball went out.”

Harmon’s encouraged rookies, like Taryn Pardo.

“We say she’s silent but deadly,” Harmon said of the quiet sophomore. “She’s very ferocious on the field. I always try to boost her confidence.”

Ideally, Harmon would be giving the Wave a boost on the field, while busting up the attack in her roughhouse style. Still, her presence is felt like with one of her rocking tackles.

“I think there are a lot of good things that have come out of it,” Harmon said.