The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Committing with Confidence

Shorecrest’s female senior athletes commit to collegiate sports.
Committed senior athletes (Left to right: Kaja Dionne, Sonoma Kasica, Kate Danielson, and Maria Happ) proudly join for a photo in their respective college apparel. They will take with them a sense of pride in both Shorecrest and women’s athletics as they move on in their collegiate journeys. Photo by Diana Muzzarelli.

     Come this fall, seniors Kate Danielson, Kaja Dionne, Maria Happ, and Sonoma Kasica will be at different colleges across the country, navigating an entirely new realm to continue their education and respective sports. Balancing academics, sports, and adversity, the journey to recruitment and commitment is tumultuous and requires the utmost dedication. 

     Future Columbia University volleyball player Maria Happ began her career hoping to follow in her older sister’s footsteps, who also played volleyball there. “I always looked up to her as a role model,” said Happ. Forging her own path was admittedly daunting, beginning with the recruiting process, which, according to Happ, “was very stressful.”

     Transitioning to a competitive and rigorous Ivy League volleyball program is an area of concern for Happ. “In volleyball, experience is a big thing, and in college volleyball, you’re up against people that have been doing this for four years,” she said. Despite strong competition, Happ finds herself looking forward to the next leg of her career at Columbia, which she describes as a “home away from home.”

     Senior Kate Danielson is committed to Harvard University for sailing. Danielson started sailing at the age of six and began her Shorecrest Varsity career in eighth grade. Following her college sailing journey, she hopes to achieve her lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics.

     One of Danielson’s concerns is adapting to the climate of Boston. The cold temperatures create a suboptimal environment for sailing, something Danielson has never had to battle growing up in Florida. Like Happ, Danielson fears the elevated level of competition that comes with collegiate sports. “It’s going to be tough, but I’m gonna learn a lot from my new team,” Danielson said, 

     Kaja Dionne, a Colorado State University commit, has found her home on the soccer field starting at the age of three. Her athletic commitments and academic workload have increased over the years, creating hurdles in her journey. Dionne said, “High school gives you a new kind of hard work, and it takes some getting used to.”

     Another major obstacle for Dionne was a knee injury in 2021. “I have to wear a knee brace almost every game because of it,” she said. “I’ve had to find ways to work with it and not let it work against me.”

     For Sonoma Kasica, a Notre Dame soccer commit, high school has been a balancing act. Her recruitment process began in eighth grade when she began to reach out to colleges. Kasica said, “It’s a grueling process. I don’t think people always understand that you’re worried about grades, academics, and sports. It’s a constant battle.”

     Kasica and her classmates show nothing but support for each other’s journeys. Being female athletes in a male-dominated field, sticking together is imperative to success. “I’ve played soccer with Kaja since I was eight years old, so seeing her succeed in the sport as well has been nice,” said Kasica.

     Most argue women are underrepresented in collegiate sports, and this issue trickles down to the high school level. Together, these women are making an impact on representation. “Especially at [Shorecrest], I feel like we need to make more awareness of female sports,” said Kasica. 

     These four senior athletes have left lasting imprints on women’s sports at Shorecrest through their ability to succeed both athletically and academically. Kasica said, “It’s great for Shorecrest to have female athletes paving [the] way.”

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Diana Muzzarelli, Staff Writer
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