Top two returning high school female footballers enter 2021 season


As the calendar moves from August to September, the fall high school sports season is officially launched. Football underwent a number of changes last fall due to COVID-19, but by 2021 things are mostly back to normal. Games are back at the halfway point, unlike quarterbacks, traditional corners and throw-ins are also back.

All of this is a welcome sight in 2021, as are these two Daily News All-Stars for women’s football.

Dani Atherton, Milford

The junior forward scored all but two of her team’s goals in last year’s cropped season. Atherton scored 13 goals in 10 sophomore games last season. She was named a star of the Eastern League and the Hockomock League and also received a nod to the All-State squad.

“Dani is a very exciting player,” said Milford coach Lou Colabello. “She has tremendous speed and can score from anywhere. His knowledge of the game and his instinct to score are second to none. “

Atherton plays for Scorpions Soccer of the National Elite Club League (ECNL). She would like to play soccer in college and study health sciences.

Caroline Kelly, Algonquin

Caroline Kelly, the oldest of the Algonquins, is a Daily News star for women's soccer.

A technical and creative player, this senior kept her best from last season when she scored the game-winning goal for Algonquin to secure a 1-0 victory over Westborough in the Pod 8 Championship as a junior.

“Her last Pod 8-winning goal, beating five defensemen in five minutes in a scoreless battle, showed all (her skills),” said Algonquin coach John Clifford.

Driving Maroon and Gold’s offense, Kelly scored seven goals and added four assists last fall. A three-year varsity player and Midland-Wachusett League star in her second season, Kelly also plays club soccer for the NEFC 2003 DPL and lacrosse for Algonquin.


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