The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger would like to recognize 17-year-old Dafna Levine as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The Ma’ayanot junior has been a key contributor to the Rapids 8-0 season. Ma’ayanot soccer Coach Marc Zharnest told The Jewish Link, “When I offered Dafna the opportunity to play on the varsity team, I wanted to temper my expectations as she grew with the team and the program. Little did I know she was not only up to the challenge, but she was ready to do more. When she entered her first ever playoff game she tallied nine goals on the heels of leading the league in goals as a freshman. While the team sadly lost the game, Dafna vowed to get better, helping not only to lead the team back to the playoffs the following year, but helping us win a championship. Good players inspire themselves; great players like Dafna inspire others. As her coach, I am in constant awe as she continues to raise the bar and I look forward to watching what she’ll do every time she gets the ball!”
Dafna, I know first hand that you have many amazing influences in your life. Who is your soccer role model and why?
My trainer who taught me all the soccer I know, since he never gave up on my team, even in the difficult seasons. He taught us that there’s always more to learn and more areas in which we can improve.
What is your greatest sports accomplishment?
Breaking the record for the most goals scored in one season when I was a freshman.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Mallory Pugh, because she plays with aggressiveness and charisma unlike anyone else and she became the youngest player to debut for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team at age 17.
What is your earliest sport memory?
Scoring the winning goal in the championship when I was about six years old.
What is your weirdest sports memory?
Playing soccer against my mother in the parents vs. players game to celebrate the end of the season a few years ago.
What is your favorite sports memory?
All of the times that I played on the same team as my sisters (sometimes my older sister and sometimes my younger sister) and we helped each other score goals.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not playing sports?
Sing and play my ukulele.
What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?
I get to show my appreciation to my trainer, coaches, teammates and family for all their support throughout my many years of playing soccer.
The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week will receive a $10 gift certificate to Gotham Burger. Please send nominees for next week’s Jewish Link and Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week to Sports@jewishlinknj.com