Cherry commits to Bentley


Alison Bergeron

Junior Maeli Cherry defends Westford Academy’s goal.

Josh Rosenstein, Staff Writer

The Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team was one of Westford Academy’s most successful sports teams this year. They had an impressive postseason run that ended in a tough loss in the state finals. The team boasted three seniors who are committed to play in college next year, one of which is Maeli Cherry.

Cherry, who plans to major in marketing and minor in psychology, is headed to Bentley University this fall. Bentley has been her top school for years due to its strength in programs she is interested in.

“Bentley has been my top choice school since sophomore year. Their business program is incredible and their career service department has been ranked number one in the country. […] The opportunity to play soccer for Bentley is an amazing chance to continue playing competitively, and made my decision to go there pretty easy,” Cherry said.

Having played soccer her whole life, Cherry has had many people help her along the way. Her club coach went out of his way to reach out to the Bentley coach and start the recruiting process for her. She has had constant support from her teammates as well, but her parents have been with her every step of the journey.

“My parents have really been my biggest supporters. They started me off playing soccer and encouraged me to work harder and play more competitively when they saw how much I loved the game,” Cherry said.

Cherry has played many different levels of soccer, starting with town soccer in first grade, playing for a more competitive club as she got older, and then the past four years in high school. Cherry still remembers how her love of soccer came to be when she was young:

“My parents both played growing up, so pretty much as soon as I could walk I had a ball at my feet. When I was young, I played a bunch of other sports, but none of them stuck like soccer did,” Cherry said.

Though the recruiting process can be very long and tedious for some, it moved pretty quickly for Cherry. The coach at Bentley first saw Cherry play last summer, and had her attend an ID camp at the college. Cherry visited the school in the fall to see some games, and she even did an overnight to stay with the team and see what it would be like. She even met another recruit on the overnight visit who will be her roommate next year.

In December, Cherry received her official acceptance from the school and signed her letter of intent to play in February. Playing at the college level will be an entirely new experience for Cherry, and she plans to work as hard as she can while there.

“The girls I have met so far have been extremely hard workers and are very dedicated to the team, so I think the best way for me to make an impact will just be for me to match that intensity. I believe that the best way to keep improving as a team is to constantly challenge each other to get better, and I know that coming in as a new player I will definitely be challenged,” Cherry said.

Though she is excited to play at Bentley, Cherry also is going to miss the WA girls’ soccer team, with whom she has bonded over her years at the school.

Getting to play for WA is something I would never give up. For the past four years, WAGS has been my family, so it’ll definitely be weird getting on the field with a new team next fall. I’m going to miss the freaky spirit days and crazy bus rides with my best friends, but I’m so excited to see them crush it again next year,” Cherry said.