Sarah Cavanaugh has been named the 2017 Massachusetts Youth Soccer TOPS Buddy of the Year.

The TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year Award is given annually “to an individual for his or her extraordinary accomplishments as a TOPSoccer Buddy, and who has demonstrated patience, understanding, dependability, and compassion”, according to Mass Youth Soccer. There are over 500 TOPS Buddy Coaches in Massachusetts.

Sarah has been a player and TOPS volunteer with United Soccer of Auburn for many years, and is a 2017 graduate of Auburn High School.  While at AHS, Sarah was a top student and a standout athlete, earning numerous awards, accolades, and records for her accomplishments in cross country and track and field.

Sarah is currently a freshman at Stonehill College in Easton, MA where she is a membe rof the Women’s Cross Country team. Sarah is the daughter of Kenneth and Stefany Cavanugh, and has two sublings, Elise and Bryan.

TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. US Youth Soccer created the program to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability.

There are now TOPS programs in all 50 states, including 7 Central MA communities.  Holden, Millbury, Worcester, Clinton, Blackstone, and West Boylston also run TOPS.  Statewide, there are over 40 TOPS programs and over 500 “buddy” coaches.

In the TOPS program, players are typically paired with a Buddy Coach, providing the player with a one- on-one experience.

This is the third year in a row that the United Soccer of Auburn TOPS program has been recognized by the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association. TOPS Director, Dan Hastings was named the 2015 TOPS Coach of the Year. His daughter, Liz Hastings was named the 2016 TOPS BUddy Coach of the Year.

Sarah will be honored at the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation and Awards Dinner on Friday, January 26 at the Newton Marriott.