Cross Country and Soccer Program Improve in Second Year
By Diana Bilotta, Sports Editor, and Kate Burgess, News Editor
Trinity Hall held its first sports banquet on Dec. 7 to recognize the contributions and achievements of the students who participated in fall sports, including the two new teams of tennis and volleyball (see previous articles) and the returning programs of cross country and soccer.
Despite being comprised of mostly freshman, this year’s cross country team took off running and never looked back, finishing its successful season on Nov. 15 by placing 4th in the Non-Public Group B State Cross Country Meet in Holmdel Park.
Of the seven Monarchs who ran in the 5K race that day, freshman Maeve Kelly placed the highest, with her 11th place finish qualifying her to compete in the prestigious Meet Of Champions on Nov. 22 also at Holmdel Park, where she placed in 143rd. Kelly felt competing with the best high school runners in the state was a “good experience” that will prepare her for future races in a fast, crowded field.
Earlier in the season, the team also won the freshman division of the Monmouth County Championships, ahead of Red Bank Catholic and Middletown South, an honor that earned them an article in the Two River Times. The Monarchs also finished first in the “B” race at the freshman Shore Coaches Adidas Invitational, second at the Roxbury Invitational and third at the Stewart Memorial.
“Those meets really showed our team’s strength, talents and perseverance,” assistant coach Maria Crowley said. “With a team of 11 freshmen and two sophomores, they were outstanding.”
The soccer program also enjoyed more success this year building on the solid foundation set by last year’s freshman team. With a total of 28 soccer players, the program had enough athletes to field both freshman and JV level teams. The JV squad’s impressive record of 9-3-2 this year shows tremendous progress from the 4-9-2 record of last year’s freshman team.
“We really improved as a team this year. With the help of the freshmen, we worked well together to double our wins,” sophomore Katie Valsamedis said.
Assistant JV coach Kristy Geoghan also commended the players on their teamwork and camaraderie. “I was impressed by how well the freshmen and sophomores came together in practices that translated to success in games.”
While many of the freshmen players were new to the sport, their hard work allowed them to improve throughout the season to eventually win one game against Middletown South High School. Each freshmen also had the opportunity to play with the JV team in at least one game during the season, providing valuable experience for the future, as the school plans to add a varsity soccer team to the athletics program next year.