Mary Litzinger
Derrick Webb

Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

Eastern’s Mary Litzinger selected as SOSA’s tri-Girls Soccer Player of the Year

Eastern's Mary Litzinger has been selected as SOSA’s tri-Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

WINCHESTER — Since she first donned an Eastern Brown uniform and stepped onto the soccer pitch, Mary Litzinger has known nothing but winning.

Eastern’s Mary Litzinger led the Warriors to their first-ever regional title this past fall.

In her four year-career, she’s never won less than 13 games in a season and has played in four district championships.

However, her journey along the way was filled with numerous hurdles and moments of doubt if she would even get to play the game she loves to her full capabilities.

“I was coming off three knee surgeries, and never thought I’d be able to play how I know I can. Going into my sophomore year, it was clear to see that I was slow and out of shape,” Litzinger said. “I just wanted to play a huge role with my team, so I knew I’d have to put in ten times the amount of work to make it happen. But if you would have told me then that, in my last two years I would have accomplished everything I have since then, I would have simply said, ‘No chance.'”

It’s probably a good thing no one told her. Because what followed was a trail of dominance that most players can only dream of.

Yet, it was Litzinger’s reality this season.

First came winning the outright SHAC title for the first time in over 10 years. Then came winning the program’s first-ever district championship, which Litzinger says was her top moment of the season.

“I don’t think anything will beat that feeling of winning that district championship. That’s been our biggest goal since us seniors came in as freshmen. Win a district and play in a regional tournament,” Litzinger said. “We knew this year was going to be different [after losing three consecutive district final matches], and once we saw we’d get a rematch with Wheelersburg, I think it only made us want to work harder to achieve that goal. When that final whistle sounded, it was just an unreal feeling.”

That was followed by a regional championship and a state semifinal final appearance, etching the 2020 soccer team into Eastern Brown history forever.

“As a team, we all came ready for practice to give our undivided attention and focus for those two hours. We fixed any mistakes made and those practice days helped us bond so much,” Litzinger said. “Coach Dan [Slivis] deserves so much credit as well. He never brought any outside issues he had into practice. He focused on us the very second he arrived at practice to help us reach our goals. His dedication to us made us want more.”

Along the way, Litzinger racked up a ton of awards, including SHAC Player of the Year, first-team all-district and second-team All-Ohio honors.

She set a school record for most assists in a single-season with 23, paired with finding the back of the net 19 times for the 16-win Warriors.

For everything she accomplished, she can add one more award: SOSA Player of the Year.

This season was nothing short of history-making, one that will live on in years from now and one where stories will be told about how this team, featuring Litzinger and fellow seniors Bailey Dotson, Skylar Gould, Emma Prine and Torie Utter, put the Warriors on the map.

Eastern’s Mary Litzinger is hugged by teammates Rylee Leonard and Torie Utter after scoring in the team’s district championship match.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

“I would have never thought my senior year would have come this fast, but I’ve made some pretty great friends and this team has meant the world to me,” Litzinger said. “We became a family and they all have made my senior year incredibly special. I truly wouldn’t trade them for the world. They’ve helped make me into the player and person I am today, alongside the community. It’s been so special playing for them.”

Although Litzinger’s journey on the soccer pitch at Eastern Brown is over, her soccer career isn’t. She plans to play at the next level, and is narrowing down her choices.

However, the legacy she leaves at Eastern Brown will forever live on.

“My career at Eastern Brown may be over, but I’ve made friendships and memories to last a lifetime,” Litzinger said. “We accomplished a lot over my four years, but we never won a Gold Ball. So hopefully, next year, that’s something the team is able to accomplish. Hopefully the younger players saw the level of dedication that we put in every day and are just as motivated to accomplish what we did and grow a legacy of their own.”


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