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TMLA’s Munday voted top sweeper

TimesLedger Newspapers

Deirdre Munday didn’t vote for herself, but plenty of other people did.

“I didn’t like going on it,” the Mary Louis senior said. “It made me nervous.”

Last week she awoke to phone calls from friends telling her she had won the poll asking: “Who is New York City’s top girls soccer sweeper?”

Munday received 34,529 votes, good enough for 29.46 percent of the 117,204 cast, none of which she said were cast by her, over the week. McKee/Staten Island Tech’s Breanna Brukalo was second with 25,308 votes and Joanne Mierzejewski of Tottenville was third with 17,395.

“I played a few of the girls on the poll,” Munday said. “They are all great and I would be happy for them if they won, too. It was really amazing to see the support people were giving me.”

She called the experience humbling. Despite not checking it herself, friends and family were there to keep her abreast of what was going on. Munday even said random students in the all-girls Jamaica Estates school came to her to tell her they had voted for her.

“People every day were checking up on me and seeing how I was doing,” she said. “It was just a great feeling to see that many people support me.”

Munday only started playing the position last season when senior sweeper Ellen Peiser was lost to an injury. She hasn’t left since, even upon Peiser’s return. Munday grew up playing midfield, before being moved to defense as a freshman. Her speed, strength, smarts and athleticism made her a natural at the position.

“Sometimes she has a lot more composure than I do,” TMLA Coach Tom Bruen said. “She doesn’t get rattled. She is very settled and she settles down everyone else as well.”

The two-sport star — Munday also plays softball — takes plenty of joy in doing her job and has a great chemistry with stopper Anna McGovern. They led the Hilltoppers to a second-place finish in their first season back in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens. Munday said there was an adjustment period for the new players and the different style of play, but she couldn’t get used to playing offense when Bruen tried to move up in lopsided wins.

“I love it back there,” she said. “Some people love the joy of dribbling through people. I get the same pleasure of, like, kicking the ball and getting it up field.”

While she enjoys being in the back on the field, she certainly got a kick out of being voted on top.

“It was really cool,” Munday said. “People kept on coming up to me, people who I didn’t really talk to on a friendly basis. Everyone just came together at school.”

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