William Smith College sophomore Julia Berg was recently named one of 10 Girls Soccer Players of the Decade by Scrimmage Play.
Scrimmage Play is Central Virginia’s leading high school and community sports news coverage website. The list encompasses students that graduated in the 10 years of Scrimmage Play’s existence, 2010-20.
Berg, a native of Charlottesville, Va., was a versatile player for Western Albemarle High School, guiding the Warriors to three state titles. A central midfielder, she earned first team all-state honors as a junior and a senior. Berg was the runner-up for the Virginia 3A State Player of the Year. She also was a member of Western Albemarle indoor track and field team, winning three state titles.
“Julia was always going to play her game,” said Jacob Desch, Berg’s high school coach, on the YouTube panel discussing the release. “She was super talented, but she never got sped up and was never overwhelmed, she was just cool. Julia had this inner confidence in herself. Julia was not an outspoken person or player, but led by example and we always knew what we were going to get from her. We always knew we could put her in the toughest situations. If she needed to play center mid or forward she just said yes I can do it and accomplished what we needed to get done. Julia is the kind of kid that every coach wants to coach.”
In her first season as a Heron in 2019, Berg played in all 24 games, starting 22. She finished the year with three points on a goal and an assist, pocketing first collegiate goal in William Smith’s 6-0 win over Bard. Berg played a key role in William Smith’s defensive unit that finished third in the nation in goals against average (0.28) and fifth in shutout percentage (.750). The Herons finished the year with 18 shutouts, limited their opponents to 5.4 shots per game and a mere 2.5 shots on goal per game. Berg was named the Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week once and the Rookie of the Week once. Berg was named to the Liberty League All-Academic team in November.
William Smith finished the 2019 season with a 21-2-1 overall record and a 9-0-0 mark in the Liberty League. The Herons produced a 17-match win streak that propelled them all the way to the national championship game. William Smith was ranked second in the final United Soccer Coaches poll of the season.