ATTLEBORO — Visual and versatile.
Those are the two best adjectives to describe former Bishop Feehan High School standout Fiona Kane when she was on the soccer pitch.
Kane, a three-year starter with the Shamrock girls’ varsity soccer squad, was intricate in the team’s success the past four years. She was well-deserving of an Eastern Mass. Coaches selection to the All-State team following her senior season with her play as an attacking midfielder consistently having led the offense.
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst commit could see into the future, possessing both the foresight and awareness of where to play the ball before she even had it at her feet. It’s a trait she said she developed while playing as an outside back with her club team, the Massachusetts-based Scorpions Soccer Club.
“Club (soccer) is just a lot faster in general,” Kane said. “Most of it is trying to play quick, knowing what you’re going to do. I would definitely say (the vision aspect) is because of club because it’s so much about the possession game. You’re supposed to know where you’re going with the ball before you get it.”
Kane has played club soccer since the age of 10, traveling to tournaments in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma, all while going up against Division I offensive prospects. Playing for the Scorpions also helped her her on the defensive side of the ball and was a learning tool when it came time to step on the field for the Shamrocks.
However, it still came with a bit of a learning curve. Kane recalls starting her transition to more of an offensive-minded player later each summer, in preparation for the fall. There were days she would drive from her Easton home to McGrath Stadium to take shots on net. On other days, she would wait patiently for the Shamrocks’ summer league games where she could fine-tune her touch and patience on the ball. Both were helpful in aiding the transition, which only the most talented and selfless players could thrive in.
“It definitely did take a little bit to adjust,” Kane said. “In high school, I was the center attacker so I had to dribble, create opportunities and take shots. It was really different than club. So I had to get used to being on the ball more and just taking shots.”
It didn’t take long for Kane to become a fixture in the middle of the field, which is best depicted with her career 45 goals and 32 assists. She capped it off with a senior campaign that included a 16-goal, nine assist output.
“Since her sophomore year she was a focal point of the team,” Bishop Feehan High coach Phil Silva said of Kane. “Whether that be when she was a sophomore and she played on the wing, or junior and senior years, when she was, without question, the playmaker on the team.”
Kane has since packed up her playmaking skills and brought them to the Division I collegiate level for the Minutemen program where she is listed as a defender.
Kane committed to UMass-Amherst at the end of her sophomore year, following two high school seasons with the Shamrocks and a plethora of ‘ID Clinics’ organized by her club team. She was also looking at Division I schools like Holy Cross, Bryant, Boston University, Brown and other lower-division programs like Wesleyan.
“I think I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level,” Kane said. “Obviously, when I was looking at Wesleyan, it’s because that’s a great school and I really liked the campus, but more of them were Division I because I knew I was ready for that level. That was always a priority for me.”
In the end, however, Kane made the decision to join her top school from the very beginning and play for the nearby Minutemen, rooted from the Atlantic-10 Conference. UMass finished the 2018 season with a 11-6-1 record with their final loss of the season coming in the A-10 Championship, one win away from qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. She is joining a program on the rise as UMass increased its victory total by four wins in each of the past two seasons.
“When I had my visit with the team, everyone just kind of felt like a family,” Kane said of another deciding factor. “They were all really close to each other and I really liked all the coaches and just the campus itself was kind of what I was looking for.”
Kane, the daughter of Bishop Feehan High principal Sean Kane and Jeanine, helped the Shamrocks to 14 or more wins during each of her four years. Bishop Feehan tallied a 65-10-3 record during Kane’s time with the program, including an unbeaten 18-0 regular season during her first varsity season.
The Shamrocks won the Eastern Athletic Conference each of Kane’s four years (notably 12 straight seasons) while she was an EAC All-Star after her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
“We’re definitely going to miss her in the program this year,” Silva said.