Nauset’s Avellar And Kennard Sign Letters To Join Division I Soccer Programs

by Brad Joyal

NORTH EASTHAM– For years, Olivia Avellar and Caroline Kennard were inseparable on the soccer field. So it seemed only fitting that the duo came together to mark the end of their Nauset careers while celebrating the beginning of their next chapters.

During a signing ceremony held in the Nauset library on Nov. 8, Avellar and Kennard signed their National Letter of Intents to both play Division I soccer.

Although the pair are heading to different schools — Avellar will stay local at Boston University, while Kennard is heading to Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. — the pair will forever be linked together for the success they experienced at Nauset.

“I’ve played soccer with Liv, like, my whole life, so it’s kind of sad that we’re going different ways now,” said Kennard, a Chatham resident. “But it’s really exciting and we’ve had so much fun these past four years.”

“I gave (Kennard) a hug after our last game and was like, ‘It’s crazy. We might be the only two on this team playing again next year, but it won’t be together,’” said Avellar, an Orleans resident. “That was kind of a moment of realization for both of us that this was our last hurrah, but we’ll definitely be supporting each other on our journeys next year and helping each other out as much as we can.”

The pair followed different timelines during their college commitments. Avellar committed to BU in January before making it official last week; Kennard considered a few different schools — including Yale and Providence College — before falling in love with Ball State during a campus visit this fall.

“When I went on my visit to Ball State in September, it just felt like home,” Kennard said. “The coaches were so nice, and I got to meet some of the players and they were all really nice. I just knew it was the right fit.”

Avellar was struck with similar strong feelings while visiting BU.

“I had been communicating with other coaches — a lot of other New England schools had reached out to me — but ultimately BU was in the city and I just fell in love with the campus, the environment, and I fell in love with the team,” she said.

Both are eager to immerse themselves among new teammates and establish bonds that will last a lifetime while competing at the highest level of college soccer.

Avellar noted that one of the most exciting aspects about playing college soccer will be playing on the road in hostile environments, and she’s already looking forward to playing some of BU’s rivals, including Holy Cross.

“Growing up, part of the dream is playing the schools that you don’t attend because obviously you can only go to one,” Avellar said. “I think that’s part of the experience — that’s what I’m most excited for.”

Both players said they’ll leave the Cape with fond memories of all that they accomplished at Nauset.

“All four years, our teams were really close with each other, but this season was the closest we’ve been,” said Kennard. “We had so much fun together, so I’m definitely going to miss playing with everyone.”

Avellar will graduate with the record for the most goals scored in a single season in school history. She netted 44 goals through this fall, besting the previous record of 39, which was set by John McCully, the current boys soccer coach.

“It’s definitely nice to know that you’re leaving your name and impression on the school,” she said. “It’s sad leaving all of my [Nauset] friends, but we had a good run winning the Cape and Islands League three years in a row. I think that was a good way to end our season before we headed into states. We had a good effort in the first round, even though we came up a little short.”