Ryann Denecour would rather talk about her teammates, her coaches (past and present), her sisters and the upcoming soccer season than talk about herself.
“I pride myself on being a team player, competing at the highest level and contributing to my team’s success,” the Chariho sophomore recently stated in her bio on a soccer recruiting page.
A young leader, she is focused on her team, but you can’t silence the young teen’s individual accomplishments – especially the most recent one. Ryann and her younger sister Addyson were both named to the US Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development East Regional Team for their respective age group.
Only 18 of the best players from Virginia to Maine were selected to their respective age group teams. (Addy was named to the 2008 and Ryann 2006). The Denecour sisters are joined by Catalina Gomez Velez (2007) as the only three RI girls who made it overall regardless of age group.
“It’s super exciting,” said Ryann. “A lot of people have helped us to get where we are. “We’ve had so many great mentors and coaches that have helped us so much”
“I am excited that they both made the ODP (East Regional) team,” said Chariho girls soccer coach Brittney Godbout. “I think as they continue to challenge themselves, their game will continue to improve.”
Watch Rhode Island high school girls soccer: Chariho vs Smithfield – Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 pm ET on YurView NE (Cox channel 4) and streaming for free at watch.yurview.com.
Ryann made her mark last fall playing her first year of high school soccer. She never played like a rookie. A midfielder, she led her team in goals (28 goals, 21 assists on the season) and became the first ever Chariho girls soccer player to be named first team All-State – and she did it as a freshman.
An experienced midfielder, Ryann can play just about anywhere and proved it last fall when she was asked to play goal in the most crucial game of the year – during a shootout in the Division II championship.
It was Ryann’s older sister Brianna who gave her little sister the confidence she needed.
“I was super nervous,” said Ryann. “Brie kissed the top of my head and said “You got this. You can do this.”
And she did….Ryann was Chargers’ first shooter of the penalty kick round and scored on the Prout keeper. Then she headed into the Chargers’ net and would go on to make a big save to help the unbeaten Chariho team to a 2-1 victory over Prout and the Division II Championship. The title was Chariho’s first in more than 20 years.
“It was so exciting,” said Ryann.
To win a title with her older sister, who was a senior on the championship team, made the victory even more special.
“Playing with Brie was like playing with your best friend,” said Ryann.
Brie took Ryann under her wing as a youth and invited her younger sister to play up with the older players, including the co-ed teams. Ryann said playing up with both girls and boys 2-3 years her senior helped her develop into a stronger player.
Brie graduated in the spring and is now in college, but another Denecour has joined Ryann on the Chariho team this fall. Addyson, who also plays in the midfield, is now a freshman on the team. Ryann will work with her younger sister the way Brianna worked with her to help her improve and adjust to soccer at the high school level.
“I think having Ryann’s little sister, Addy on the team will also inspire Ryann to develop more into a leader. They play well together on the field,” said Charho Coach Brittney Godbout. “Ryann will coach Addy through plays and they are always looking to connect with each other.
Addy is also very knowledgeable about the game and sees the field well. They are both a great addition to the team. They both have positive attitudes and have a team-first attitude.”
In all, there are four girls in the Denecour family. All four (the youngest is 10) take after their father, Matt, who was once the RI Gatorade High School Soccer Player of the Year, went on to play Division I college soccer at the University of Hartford, and then played professionally with the RI Stingrays and Western Mass Pioneers.
Matt set the foundation for his daughters’ success on the field. He has coached all four girls and has spent countless hours in their backyard, helping each of his daughters develop and improve their soccer skills.
Perhaps mom Jodi has the most important job of all.
“I’m the Uber driver,” she said jokingly.
When you have daughters playing on four different teams, have different practices and game schedules and play the New England Futbol Club, located in Massachusetts, more than an hour away from the Denecour home, there is a lot of time spent on the road.
The hard work is paying off for these rising stars..
After the high school season concludes in November, Ryann and Addy will head to Florida to compete against the other ODP regional teams for a chance to make the ODP National team for their respective age groups,
“It’s a great achievement and we are super proud of them,” said Jodi.
But the Denecour girls would rather talk about the upcoming high school season.
After winning the D-II crown last fall, Chariho has moved up into Division I, the state’s highest division, this year.
“The Division1 game is a lot faster and much more physical. It will be nice to see Ryann and her teammates challenged to play at that level,” said Godbout.
“Ryann has the maturity to inspire her team to dig deeper and play harder. She raises the bar for her teammates and encourages them to play at a higher level. Ryann is very skilled and knowledgeable. On the field, she leads by example. She has a wonderful work ethic and comes up big when we need her to,” said Godbout. “As a sophomore she has been an inclusive leader to the younger players on the team. She often takes teammates to a side and works with them on skills they need to work on and positioning. I see a future coach in her. “
Ryann isn’t looking to lead a team from the sidelines just yet. Her immediate goal is for the Chargers to have a successful debut in DIvision I.
“Our team is super excited for the season,” said Ryann. “All the girls have worked hard in the heat in the preseason and want to have a chance to play at the highest division this season,” said Ryann. “I think we can hold our own and have a good season.”
Watch Rhode Island high school girls soccer: Chariho vs Smithfield – Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 pm ET on YurView NE (Cox channel 4) and streaming for FREE at watch.yurview.com.